shannon frost greenstein, Michael White. Sean Schellenger. two families shattered, a city divided. Larry Krasner, D.A.

Michael White. Sean Schellenger. Two Families Shattered, a City Divided. Larry Krasner, D.A.

July 12, 2018.

Summer. A haze of heat. Sunblaze and voices raised
and the same story on repeat.

The city of murals, of
love between brothers. It took only minutes for two mothers
to lose it all. Say the others
it happened so fast, the last
time Sean would breathe.

Rittenhouse Square
where the elite reside. Michael tried to diffuse, to use
his brain
when fists started to fly.

A split.
Poverty and riches, alongside, those who died
by gunfire and those who tried to make a life like
how the other half lives.

Segregated, bitter, in North Philly the litter would never be seen
in Rittenhouse Square.

Philadelphia has a new District Attorney.
Obama likes Larry Krasner.
Progressive, impressive; called him out in a speech.

Our D.A., a new day, goodwill reparations, amends
to make, blame to take, a system to raze; to start anew, with equal rights for all.

Sean was drunk; science told us so. Michael had a knife, his life
is forever changed
because he drove the knife into Sean’s back.

Self-defense or murder? One of the two.
The few
who were there do not agree that Michael chose to slaughter a man.
They say there was no plan.

“I’m going to beat the Black off you,” they said Sean said;
coke in his system, football player and white.
“He was never a racist,” his family said. But dead
Sean can’t tell us about the fight.

Michael White, a Man of Color
a courier, a congregant, murder in the third degree; but charges reduced;
ire produced,
Sean’s memory abused and Michael is found not guilty.

The D.A. has said his end is clear;
he will fight for what is right in this city.
A Black man kills, found Not Guilty, and the headline flashes
Larry Krasner, D.A., will end incarceration of the masses.

A schism
a rift now bifurcates Philly.
Race at its core, but isn’t that at the core of everything

Sean’s family enraged, spitting
vitriol and grief, Krasner’s a thief
of all the potential their boy would have had.

Michael is broken. It’s spoken
by his pastor that he will never be the same;
to take a life changes a man, and the blood
on his hands still stands.

He lied, they say of Michael, of Sean;
He tried, says one side, but things went awry.
One mother sees only that her son had to die.

Evidence tampering, then probation to serve. Not enough,
feels the mother, while in the arms
of the other
a life ruined before it’s begun.

Philadelphia. Two families shattered, a city divided, Larry Krasner, D.A.

July 12, 2018.

Yet the wound still


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