Getting the one who did it.


In jail, they tell me to get away from the old crowd; otherwise they will see me there again.

Sometimes I think I have a cloud over my head so that when other people see sunshine, I feel rain.

Iím a loner.

So I donít see a problem getting away from folks I know, until I get to this new town and realize just how alone I am.

And how little jail did to get me ready for being out here.

People want to keep you quiet, maybe to make you suffer for what you did.

They donít really care if you live or die once you leave.

I look for the best neighborhood I can afford, find a nice warm house where people raise flowers and worry more about ground hogs than rats.

Being a city kid, Iíve always dreamed of such a place.

But as soon as the folk inside it see me, I think they know who I am and what Iíve done, and hold it against me, despite the fact that they got a ďJesus SavesĒ sticker on their car and a well-worn Bible in their living room.

I start thinking maybe I got the mark of Cane on my forehead and ought to go back to jail where I belong.

I donít even know how to talk to people like this.

When I tell them I got little money, but Iím looking for a job, they take me in anyway.

They look scared.

Theyíre older folks, the age my folks would be if I knew who my folks were.

They tell me over supper that they lost a son to a local gang fight.

I think they think Iím one of that gang.

Upstairs in my room, I find blood stains on the run, washed out, but still there.

When I search the room, I find bullet holes, too.

Now Iím the one whoís scared.

I just canít believe what Iíve found. So over the next few days I keep looking until I find what I thought Iíd find, not in the yard, but in the basement Ė old graves with one freshly dug I know is for me.

Some folks never get over losing a loved one.

Some people keep hunting the killer until they get the right one.

These people arenít taking chances they might miss the one who did their boy in and keep killing people like me just on the chance sooner or later theyíll get the one who did.

Needless to say, Iím out of here.

The old ground, even jail, doesnít seem so bad or so permanent as that.


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