..She felt so damn nervous making that call,
and when he picked up she just gushed it all,
he listened quietly, then she asked to meet,
she quickly wrote down the place and the street.
She met him at one of his restaurants,
he looked different now, his eyes didn’t haunt,
he had no gun, just company t-shirt,
but something about him still spoke to her.
She asked him, “Why did you do what you did?
Why risk it all to go and save my kid?
We destroyed your business, threatened your life,
made it clear we hated anyone white.”
He gave a sad smile, and then explained,
“If that’s why you’re worried, I’ll make it plain,
how could I have just let your child burn?
The thought of it just makes my stomach churn.
“He’s a human being, in danger great,
what kind of man would leave him to his fate?
Whatever rage that the mob felt for me
had nothing to do with a child of three.”
Jacinta learned forwards. “You didn’t care
that my people didn’t much want you there?
After what happened, and what we destroyed,
you went to rescue a random black boy?”
“My ‘people’ call themselves American,
and I’m pretty sure that you’re one of them.
Even if you weren’t, I’d still have to go,”
he said,”Such horrors children should not know.”
She felt amazement, and shame more than a bit,
that it took all this to understand it,
she thought ‘color-blind’ had been some quaint phrase,
those were the words that her family would say.
But this man had felt that her son mattered,
even when he had been just a stranger,
and she realized that his life mattered too,
whether black, white, or brown, such people were few.
This one man refuted lies she’d been taught,
her brother’s nonsense had all been for naught,
she saw a good man, wanted to know more,
started talking with him about his stores.
He told how his father had opened the spot
that the mob had burned, she felt her soul drop
on hearing how he’d played in the kitchen,
and chatted when young with those who came in.
She told him of Keenan, where she now lived,
he offered a job, said, “It’s mine to give.”
Soon enough Keenan would play in the back,
and the man smiled, gave him lots of slack,
mostly because he was dating his mom,
Jacinta didn’t stay on welfare for long,
the other workers snickered, she let them,
where would she find such a lover again?
CONCLUDES IN PART V.
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2022