We planted the old man like a bulb of flowers. In emotion, in a caressing display of our bonds. Three of us said something and then there was the preacher. And she led us in prayers I remembered the old fellow didn’t really regard. Shrimp afterwards. Good. And then the rest of the city became a bomb. I looked into the eyes of the inner city youth and they were not happy to see me. So I said hello, I said tell me what you think, and they didn’t bust my chops. Having something to do made the process of grieving remarkably quick. One guy with a hardware shop on Pennsylvania Avenue told me he had to keep the steel gate up in front of his shop so the people in the streets could see him, see his eyes. And I liked that he was there in the midst of it, protecting his own thing, and never negating or repudiating the anger of the others. It’s horrible, he told me, the whole thing. Then, on Friday, they arrested the cops who had killed the young man. And there was a collective sigh. I let go of my father and the town remembered Freddie Gray.
by Henry Cherry