for mrs garner

By clint smith

we all watched as they turned
his windpipe into a staccato
of decrescendos

his entire body made martyr
unwilling we have been down
such roads before

they buried his face in concrete
we could see his right
hand stiffen

blood retreating in an attempt
to save the rest of him
when I watched it

fall limp
an autumn of heavy limbs
i wondered if my mother had

lied to me
about where the cracks
in the sidewalk come from

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