The City Slowly Dies: For Kingsley Allen, 1973-1990 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Inside the walls of Boston High

A fight broke out, and I became

The one hundred and fortieth homicide

And the city slowly dies.



I tumbled down a flight of stairs

Surrounded by the broken children

One of whom still held the knife

And the city slowly dies.



My mathematics teacher ran

To try and keep my soul alive

Yet already I had touched the sky

And the city slowly dies.



Away I wandered from myself

I asked the city to please forgive

The broken child who took my life

And the city slowly dies.



A few tears, remorse, and half-staff flag

The most attention I ever received

Inside the walls of Boston High

And the city slowly dies.



It's not his mother, it's not the school

It's the leaders of this bitter country

I left it as my mother cried

And the city slowly dies.



I knew a statistic would be my fate

Whether or not I lived or died

I'm the hundred fortieth homicide

In a city that slowly dies.



"As the city slowly dies." is how Mike Barnicle ended a Dec. 9th column on the 139th homicide a day or two before Kingsley Allen's. This phrase stuck in my head, and became the basis for this poem.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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BIGFOOT said...
Nov. 17, 2009 at 9:42 am
Beautiful poem. I atteneded Boston High during the same time Allen was murdered but I was in the afternoon session and All was in the morning. I was only 14 then, but I remember the somber feeling on the day he died. Rest in peace Kingsley.
 
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