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Sara Alspaugh, a junior at Buffalo Traditional High School, dedicated this poem to James "Romeo" Mack, 17, a classmate who was tortured and slain in a North Pearl Street apartment Jan. 21.

Our Shed of Blood

The preacher preaches his gospel of how we all are combined into one family.

But still we suffer as we are tortured into death.

Feared for what is around us and terrified for what's right outside our door.

Scared to breathe wrong

Hurting to live

So weak you can't fight strong.

Too tired to shed another tear while people who god calls family pluck your last string from your heart,

turning it into fangs

Slaughtering your innocence without any justice.

As your heart turns dark and cold.

A sweet dusk of light follows your every thought that flashes throughout your eyes.

Struck one last time, the pain seems to subside into a numbness.

You think of how or why this could have happened

Your throw away your beliefs for life as the blood overcomes the morn.

You think about how the family copes with the wickedness

As they watch while the wolves seek punishment

I find myself wondering what this world is coming to

How jealous do you have to get 'till an argument occurs

Or how a simple little fight can cause so much casualty

So much damage in fact that someone loses a life

What is there to do?

What is there to say?

A friend's life is a friend's treasure

But god's man mad family is a nightmare

Yes, everyone must follow into god's family at some point of time

But there is no race to get into it

We were put on this earth to enjoy the present day and time

But all we think about is yesterday or tomorrow

We just try to get through life as someone's friend or loved one

But god does not shed the blood of his friends

Our family scars the heart, mind, body and soul

with blood of others, the angel's blood.

In memory of our friend, James Jerome Mack, a junior at Buffalo Traditional and loved by all. We will

all miss you, James!

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