By Edward S. Gault
Rod, his brother, remembers the day
They shot Tyrone down.
They just drove by
and started shooting
like they didn’t care who they hit.
Tyrone had turned seven.
He was at his birthday party
on the porch.
His mother remembers
The way he asked for a bicycle,
and how she thought
he was growing up too fast.
She had a nice red bicycle all ready for him
in the garage.
She had spent all morning on the cake,
angel food with a motorcycle on top;
next, he would be want one of those too.
Rod told me how he had taught Tyrone
to throw a baseball just right;
and coached him how to shoot a basketball
through the hoop every time.
He wanted to give Tyrone dreams
because that’s all he had to give him.
Rod wanted much more for the boy
than he had had.
He knew about gangs.
His voice cracked when he told me,
The bullet had been meant for him.