‘(H)ours’: A #Ferguson Poem by Maria Alexandria Beech

Aug 20, 2014
6:59 PM

The body falls,
A tall boy falls,
Tumbles to the ground.

The sound of
Pop, pop, pop,
Pop, pop, pop,
Tops the air.

Hits a cloud,
Bounces around.

His lungs slowly
Come to a halt there.

He has no escape.

Scraping the asphalt
Beneath his skin,

He’s drenched.

It’s 12:01 pm,
His heart pumps
Slower towards the end,

Then stops.

The veins, arteries,
Aorta, and capillaries,
Every tributary carrying
His red and white

Blood cells, plasma
And platelets receive
A signal to stop.

The pumping system
And surrounding body
Is dead,

Pierced at least six times,
The autopsy diagram said,

Even twice in the head.

“It was definitely
Like being shot
Like an animal,”
His friend said.

Then the body
Is left on the ground.

For hours
It remains
A mound of flesh
And bare hands,
Holding no gun.

Blood, sweat, and dirt
Fill the holes,
Become one.

For hours,
The body is still,

As men stand around.

What will we tell
The children

Michael never had,
(The police
Want us to believe
He stole cigarillos,
Moments before,

Though new video
Suggests the cigarillos
Were paid for.)

It’s the same story,
Every time.

An investigation
Will not find,

In Ferguson,

Forgot he was
Someone’s son,
Someone’s son,
Someone’s son.

Ignoring protocol,

Putting questions aside,
He was shot with iron.

They saw his body fall,
Then they lied.

Now the answers
Will never be found.

Blood and dirt,
Fill the holes,

And the hurt,
Between the rocks,

The answers
Now rest,
In the silence
Of the ground.


(Credit: Loavesofbread)

(Credit: Loavesofbread)


Maria Alexandria Beech @alexbeech is a playwright and librettist who lives in New York. Currently, her musical, CLASS, is being workshopped at Hope College. Her play about surrogacy in India, INFINITY POND, was included in the Palm Beach Theatre Festival and Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival, and her play, GOOD FRIENDS, is part of the Crossing Borders Theater Festival in August.