During the Civil Rights Movement.
With the investigation coming to a close,
all the police needed was a body-
the only evidence to provide
an alibi for this crime.
But at the time of the search,
his mother, sister, and brother were at church,
singing and praying.
Praying that his soul be at peace,
and that the accused be revealed.
And the river, a serpent,
swallowed the boy whole
with the sins of murder-
catch and release.
Officer's hands pulled up a body,
and began to count, after finding four.
"Seven, Eight, and Nine." he said,
grimace and mouth turned 'round.
Voices from the church echoed across town.
The church had become a bell,
and it rang with those voices for the souls of that river.
The serpent ebbed and thrashed in its evil,
with the divers and boats cutting open its belly-
just curiosity provoking this.
The voices lifted children to the river banks,
and into the hands of justice.