SILENCE

Now let us bow our heads for a moment of silence

And so the silence came

Yet you could still hear the faint whimpers

The streams of tears dripping from mournful cheeks

And the deep exhales

Of broken hearts

This silence could have been avoided

If only someone had broken the silence

If only someone had broken the silence

Before body hit pavement

Before siren echoed down city block

Before lead spiraled from barrel and pierced through flesh

Before shaken hand had squeezed trigger

Before individual had reached into jacket

And wrapped finger around cold steel

Before knife was drawn and tore through abdomen

Before baton was unsheathed

And overhead blows softened skin and cranium shattered

Before blood pressure had risen and anger became blinding

Super ceding cognitive thought and restraint

Before fear altered fight or flight

And turned it into strike first

Resulting in the scene we are all too familiar with

Of black suits and dresses

Standing over sacred ground

As floral covered coffin slowly descends into burial plot

Leading to yet another precursor moment

Because before and after violence

There is always silence

So let’s break that silence and detour violence

And whether it’s a phone call

A text message, an invitation,

Gesture of concern, or simple greeting

Like, hey! What’s up?

And let’s turn those preceding moments

Into conversations and replace tears with joy and laughter

Let’s end the silence

And maybe

Maybe

We can stop the violence

BY OSCAR TORRES LEON

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