The Guilt is Ours Too (1992)

The Guilt is Ours Too

by Marc Mangel


He had once been nameless and faceless

just another student at the junior high

a boy on a bike

filled with life and hope


And then his face appeared

on the front page

no longer nameless

but a young man



First they beat him

kicked him

did he scream

did he cry

surely he felt alone

and felt


where were we?


He haunts me now

Does he haunt them

those young bastards


Then they pushed him

Pushed him into

a train

And the train killed



He haunts me

I see him stumble

in the dark

searching for shelter

in a storm of blows

blinded by blood

and blows to

the head


Feeling fear

Feeling so alone

Surely we failed him.


How much hate

how much anger

had they felt

as they kicked and beat

and pushed him

into the train that

killed him.


And we?

We shall shake our heads

bemoan the “use of

alcohol by teens”

arrogantly claim “but

they had 3rd and B”

and now young


sit and wait


we failed him

and the guilt is ours too.


for  a murdered young man, whom I never


27-30 April 1992

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