By Anthony Briscoe

In Memory of Maleek Smith

“Reflections from my daughter’s heart”

I’ve seen him in the halls
Walking, always smiling
Moving briskly with purpose
Stern, so he’s not perceived as weak
Gentle, so he’s captured as meek

That was our relationship, existing
Normal high school students
Trying to avoid death in abnormal ways
A thousand strangers passing by each other
Daily, hurrying to class
Engaged but distant
Classmates but unknown
Only bonded by the love for school
and the family in our advisories

You only remember their memory
And at a 10-year reunion, you’ll connect and say
“I remember you.”

Now, I’m haunted when I walk these halls
Maleek isn’t there, but I see him
Invisibly present
Wrestling between time and space
Wanting to come back but not permitted

He’s smiling, moving as fast as ever
Trying to keep up but he never reaching us

A part of me died when he left this realm
My hippocampus is in flight mode
Trying to erase the trauma of gun violence
That snuffed him out

IG streams filled with
Pain, joy
laughter, Anger
Profanity, Prayers

We will hold each other tightly
After spring break
Because we hope to never become
At such a youth age

We want to be visible
And not