St. Gabriel the Archangel School
St. Louis City, MO

Ferguson was like a home to me,
My aunt grew up there, as did my dad
A model of coexistence and peace between two races.
I ran a 5K through the central neighborhood,
With the sun glinting off the houses, making the whole
Vicinity look heavenly and beautiful.
The string of shops looked so inviting, comfortable.
I had the feeling of being drawn in and wanting to be a part
Of this wonderful community.
The parties, the sleepovers, and the good memories and times
In Ferguson I had I will always remember.

In August, shots were fired 
And the heavenly neighborhood I had practically grown up in became a hell.
My aunt’s street, a warzone of her good friends protesting,
The golden neighborhood, with the lovely shops,
Burned to crisps, becoming black and charred.

As I drive through Ferguson on Christmas,
The warzone is getting back its golden sheen
A burnt neighborhood banding together to return the gold.
Everywhere, even on the burnt buildings, I see “I Heart Ferguson.”
The damage is being repaired, just the finishing of gold to be put on.