THE BOY DIED IN MY ALLEY
Without my having known.
Policeman said, next morning,
"Apparently died Alone."
"You heard a shot?" Policeman said.
Shots I hear and Shots I hear.
I never see the dead.
The Shot that killed him yes I heard
as I heard the Thousand shots before;
careening tinnily down the nights
across my years and arteries.
Policeman pounded on my door.
"Who is it?" "POLICE!" Policeman yelled.
"A Boy was dying in your alley.
A Boy is dead, and in your alley.
And have you known this Boy before?"
I have known this Boy before.
I have known this Boy before, who
ornaments my alley.
I never saw his face at all.
I never saw his futurefall.
But I have known this Boy.
I have always heard him deal with death.
I have always heard the shout, the volley.
I have closed my heart-ears late and early.
And I have killed him ever.
I joined the Wild and killed him
with knowledgeable unknowing.
I saw where he was going.
I saw him Crossed. And seeing,
I did not take him down.
He cried not only "Father!"
The cry climbed up the alley.
It went up to the wind.
It hung upon the heaven
for a long
stretch-strain of Moment.
The red floor of my alley
is a special speech to me.
from to disembark
(Third World Press, 1981)
Filmed in Stamford, Connecticut in 2010 — about 40 miles from Newtown the way the crow flies —
a devastating portrait of things gone wrong as portrayed by a terrific Tilda Swinton (mother) and Ezra Miller (son). Much too close for comfort to what happened in the same state two years later.
Directed by Lynne Ramsay