HOW DIDN'T THEY KNOW?

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By Kristen Sharer

When Billy was 6, one fine Easter day,

He received a gift with which he could play.

It was a sweet little bunny with hair to the floor.

What could have happened when it was found dead by the door?

Accidental, they said. Billy's just a child.

He just played too rough. He got a little bit wild.

 

When Billy was 10 at a neighbor's house.

He poured some bleach on a friendly pet mouse.

Boys will be boys is what they said.

Be careful, they added as they patted his head.

 

When Billy turned 12 they found some deep cuts.

On the face and the neck of the sweet family mutt.

No harm was done. The dog's not hurt bad.

He didn't mean to do it. He truly feels sad.

 

When Billy was 16, he took a gun to school.

He fired upon them while calling them fools.

When Billy was finished having his fun.

He smiled at his carnage and lay down his gun.

 

The town went on weeping all through the trial.

He showed no remorse. He showed not a smile.

What happened, they asked, to a boy so fine?

How could it be, he showed not a sign?

 

What about me? Said the ghost of the long dead mouse?

And I the rabbit who was found dead in his house?

And the elderly dog with scars that still showed.

Softly whined and wondered,

HOW DIDN'T THEY KNOW?

 
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