one by one

A crowd stood around the body
of an old neighborhood friend
lying quietly in the street
on a busy Tuesday morning.

They were silent
leaning together
asking, with only their eyes
how this sort of thing could
have happened.

Hands in their pockets
they remained concerned
showing solidarity and
perceived strength they banded together.

Not a one of them
uttered a word.

One by one
they walked away
shaking their heads
none of them would forget
the horrors they had seen

and no one else
would ever know.

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