Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Old Man

Simone was late
With the stash.
Of all the places
We were to meet,
Did it have to be
Outside the bright yellow building
In the alley behind
Of the main thoroughfare.

As I waited,
An old man walked
Towards me,
A black dog traipsing behind.
He reminded me
Of my uncle
Who was much older
Than my mother,
But who possessed
The same mischevious glint
In the eye, just like Mama.

Instead of stopping
In front of the yellow building
He turned towards
The building across from it.
There is where I should
Have been waiting.
A nondescript building,
Grates on the window,
A reflection of the society.
A society, I was part of.

I watched him,
Weaving a web
Of stories that would
Culminate into his life.
I questioned if
An equally charming, old lady
Lived in that building,
Or did he live alone,
His only companion
Being the black dog.
Did he have kids,
Brothers, sisters,
Nieces, nephews?
Was he happy
Or sad?
How long did he live there?

As he disappeared
Into the building,
I ached for home,
I ached for my family,
I ached for all I left
To be here.
Why was I here?

Just as I was
About to leave,
I spotted Simone,
A brown envelop
Tucked under his arm.

He walked in that lazy gait
I grew accustomed to.
Then he fell.
I ran to him,
But he was dead,
Blood flowering from his chest.

I looked around quickly,
Staying low in case
The shooter was still taking aim.
Nothing happened.

Then I saw a glint
In a window of the building
Across from the yellow building.
I walked closer
Trying to get a better look.

There in the window
Stood the old man
Putting away a sniper rifle,
Taking his time
As though he had all the time
In the world.

He looked down at me,
The mischevious glint in his eyes.
I ran back to Simone
And grabbed the envelop.
And I continued to run.
I kept running,
Not looking back.

The next morning,
Simone’s death was in the papers.
They called him a career criminal,
Associated with the drug trade,
With organized crime,
With arms running,
With the sex trade.

I later found out
That he crossed the wrong person,
Traded the wrong girl.
This was part
Of the world I lived in.

From that day forth,
I kept my eye out
For the old man
Who reminded me of my uncle.
The old man
With the black dog
And the sinister history.

1 comment:

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