Maybe before.

Maybe my seventeen year-old son will be walking down the street with a bag of Skittles in his hand.

Maybe he will have smoked a joint with friends before taking his walk.

Maybe he will be wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

Maybe he will be talking on his cell phone.

Maybe he will hear your steps following behind him.

Maybe he will be full of bravado.

Maybe he will choose not to run.

Maybe he will confront you.

Maybe you will have a gun.

Don’t shoot.

He is a boy.

He is scared.

He is unarmed.

He is no angel.

He is no criminal.

Maybe you will turn and walk away instead.

Before he gets scared.

Before he confronts you.

Before you pull the trigger.

Be the man that lets my boy walk home.

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