Beneath the mango tree…

We need pictures.

Pictures of the people we have lost.

And smells as well.

In May the mango trees would be in full leaf, but not fruit, months from the vinegary rot of dropped fruit- a condition you might never smell if the people who lived close to the tree were poor and hungry.

I used to live near mango trees. Despite what might get picked or eaten, dozens of mangos would fall to rot on the ground.

So to hang children on a mango tree. What does that mean? To hang them by their own clothes after they have been raped and brutalized?

To do all of this with family. To do it deliberately.

To lie in wait for girls to go to a field to relieve themselves.

To believe you will not face justice.

To almost not.

We need to see the tree. We need to see the broken girls. We need to face how close they are to our own.

Years ago I had a normal conversation with Charles after he talked to a pretty girl his age at a playground. I asked him about the girls he liked. He gave me a blurry answer except for this–

not Asian.

The not Asian has haunted me since I discovered that he abused children. He groomed us all. He was so very careful. Did he tell me that to deceive me? Did he tell me everything to deceive me?

We need a picture. A picture of grief. A picture of murdered children.

And another picture as well–

A picture into the mind of hate. The excuses, lusts, and prejudice that could effectively strip men of the last shreds of decency. The last vestiges of the soul.

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