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A lament

 

Sunday's newspaper column mentioned a poem reader Jane Harrison had written about the body of a girl found in a vacant lot on Feb. 16. She had been shot, and went unidentified for 19 days, when her father saw a police sketch of the victim and came forward.

Harrison wrote "Lament" days before the girl's father identified her as Tyisha Brown. I quoted part of it on Sunday, in part to highlight a murder that didn't get much attention, and as a reminder that every killing matters.

It certainly mattered to Jane Harrison.

 

Wrap her close
in fabrics of unimaginable softness
and warmth -- royal colors
to enoble
a short and disposable life
that mostly hid in grays and grayer

Erase fixed sorrow from her features
captured with exactness
by the artist in the morgue

Summon music
befitting a lost princess
who lies in state
And since there are
no conceivable amends to make
for her severed young life
and all the bitter time she lies unknown
at least, at least
remember her

-- Janes Harrison, March 8, 2008

Five days later she had a name. Her killing remains unsolved.

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