Dear Editor,

(This is an ode to crime in the Virgin Islands.)

There are some folks going around this land

Who have no fear of God or man

Waving around a gun in their hand

Steal, kill and destroy seems like the plan.

Trying to be men while they’re still boys

Playing with guns as if they are toys

Answering to no one as they plot and scheme

Creating a nightmare instead of a dream.

Why do I carry a gun, you ask?

It’s an accessory, you know, like a mask.

Need to protect myself, understood?

It’s just the way of life in the ‘hood.

I spoil a life, I might get time,

That’s the way in the life of crime.

You steal my jacket, I steal your hat,

All in a day’s work — tit for tat.

He made a choice to settle the score,

The threat to him is not anymore.

They don’t use stones or words for sure

Just pull the trigger, and your “problem” — no more.

Promises and slogans seem like a scheme,

Hope and healing might just be a dream.

Marches and rallies can’t change the truth

We’ll only succeed when we target the root.

Cameras and drones really can’t see

Hearts that are dark with enmity.

Reveal, Census 2020.

Heal, Vision 2040.

Too much drama and disparities

The youth get lost in the “I’s” and the “Me’s.”

How do we account for our priorities?

Let’s be done with hypocrisies!

The siren mourns and wails again

Telling the tale of another one slain.

Our society has a high tolerance for pain …

The blood on our hands is a permanent stain.

Sandra C. Bradley, St. Croix