your white boys
were out the house by
dawn's early light, before curfew's
lift, before the graveyard patrol's end. The front door quaked
me awake, but the birthday-party boys were nowhere seen; dangerous, the age thirteen.
Who knows what alleys lawns cars thresholds they trampled, touched.
I only know the redneck cop
feigned an anger when
too wise in many
matters but not some, when the door
knocked, my eighteen year-old son stood shrugging, drunk, beside
a white cop who seemed almost apologetic as his younger chump. The cop then told
of cruising (nicer) neighborhoods across town until
seeing, in his headlights, my boy
toss a bottle. This
cop: all warmth,
they seemed to become
a prodigal father and son.