Stranger Danger


He died on the street outside my door

Clutching his chest falling down    slow

Screaming for help   no assistance we gave

Left him dying, writhing in pain


Hardened by street crime  we assumed a scam

A gang to come running when we stepped outside

Little boys with no respect for elder or wiser

Did they cause? Did we cause? The life we have to live.

The boy, fourteen years and 3 months

Post mortem revealed a heart broken

By the fear of strangers who lock themselves in

And don’t engage humanely with any ‘cept kin


The pain of the mother screened close up

despairing of the lack of help.

I recognised her grief stricken face

as the lady from the corner shop


We should’ve known him

twenty years or more ago we would have

chatted with him daily watching him grow up

we ignore the young, and we do so at our peril.

Sukey Mackie