Listening Wall

I saw a man in black once

He was painting with cans

Putting the paint on me

I saw him crying

Muttering to himself

Then he left


The next day I saw a different man

He was wearing a uniform

He was speaking into his shoulder

Muttering about an old woman

He was asking his shoulder why

Why anyone would spray paint an old woman

His shoulder spoke back

It said it´s probably another painting

Of Ms. Leery Young

From her boy, Lenny

I thought, on me how odd


One day I saw a woman

She was young and bright

She was with a man in orange

She was crying

The man in orange was yelling

The man struck out his hand

The woman fell and the man left


Then the man in black showed up

And helped the woman up

He spoke very quiet and soft to her

Asking questions

He handed her a small rectangle

She tapped on it and held it to her ear


A while later there was a rumbling

She smiled at the man in black

And muttered a thank you

Then a large box showed up and she got in it

The man watched the box leave

Then the man looked at m

But not actually me

But what was on me

Then he cried


Another day I saw the woman again

She had some bruises on her face

She sat and looked down each side of the alley

I think she was waiting

I was hoping she was waiting

For the man in black

He never showed up

So she left


The same day he finally showed up

But a little too late

For the woman had already left

He sat and looked down each side of the alley

He was waiting

I hoped for the woman

She didn´t come back

So he left


I saw the man in black again

It was dark but I knew it was him

Because he started painting with cans

But on the wall opposing me

The painting was of an older woman

He kept looking at me

As if he knew I was watching


The woman was wearing purple

All purple

Her earings, her lips, her shirt and her nails

She had glasses over her green eyes

Below the painting there were words

They said R.I.P in Alley 9

I wondered what that meant

Then I remembered the man in the uniform

And the young man Lenny he spoke about

I now knew it was him, Lenny

When he was done he sat

In the middle of the alley

And he cried

But he did not leave this time


The woman soon showed up

She sat next to him

She looked at me and the wall opposing several times

She put her hand on his

And spoke

She asked if it was his mother

She asked if she died

She asked how she died

And she asked where she died


He looked at the woman with tears in his eyes

And spoke

He stated that it was his mother

He stated that she was beaten and left to die

He stated that it was by his father

And he stated it was right here in Alley 9


She hugged Lenny and he still cried

He asked her her name

She said Cassius Ruines

He smiled

She stood and held out her hand

He took her hand and stood also

Then they left


Cassius Ruines and Lenny Young

They come back together

Never seperate

With them they bring flowers

They put them next me

because I show his original painting


They come back a lot

And he´s always clad in black

They visit so much i lose count

Always bringing flowers


A long time later

They are visiting the paintings

He is not in black

He is in purple

While visiting the paintings

He kneels down on one knee

He speaks to her

While they both cry and laugh

He tells her thank you

Thank you for lifting me from the dark

Jeffersonville High School, 2019