A Nativity Scene, Brooklyn Style

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A Nativity Scene, Brooklyn Style


The Fire alarm went off at the projects,

but when they got there, no one spoke,

and there was the absence of fire and smoke,

it was just going to be a prank,

and that’s when a crime scene developed

in a project house basement, a dank,

the odor was so bad, it just stank,

it was an unfurnished place,

where an elderly black man

went missing without a trace,

and after completely opening up the basement door,

they found that missing man stretched across the floor,

he was in full rigor, and what’s more,

he was covered by a long sheet

of plastic painter’s tarp,

skin cooked in its own oil and heat,

shoe laces tied to his hands and feet,

and there death and drama would meet,

four homicide detectives and two firemen

stood over the body,

a dim basement with low light,

doing its best to fight off the night,

and they waited awhile,

it was like a nativity scene, Brooklyn style,

not in a manger,

but in a two story brick pile.

© 2011 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 40 comments

Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

wow.. nicely done. I can see the dark basement and smell the dank odor.so sad a horrible place to die... Bravo.. good job.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton Author

Thanks so much Deborah Brooks :) sorry it took son long to reply here kind of mssed this one but bless you


DFiduccia profile image

DFiduccia 4 years ago from Las Vegas

This was like watching a movie clip. Nice work, Frank.

DF


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Dfid.. that was a good comment and thanks for visiting my Christmas in August :)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

"skin cooked in its own oil and heat" now that made cringe ....


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton Author

Justasksusan thanks for visiting my Nativity scene Brooklyn Style :)


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Wow! That one is tough and as DF said cinematic too! One of your best.


Patty Kenyon profile image

Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

Wow, the imagery is so very, very vivid and something for all of the senses!!! Another Awesome Poem!!!!

Voted Up and Awesome!!!!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so Much X-Man for your comment and Patty good to see you again bless you both :) Brooklyn style LOL


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Your poetry perfectly captures the imagery of the Nativity scene with a strangely cold and somber comparison. Frank, you have a way of presenting things from an unusual perspective; realistic and nitty gritty. Fascinating from start to finish.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton Author

Thanks Pegcole when I was writing this I had to rewrite it over 12 times to get that scene just right at the end.. hope it worked bless you for dropping by :)


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

You described one of the far to many scenes of the streets within ones own home/apartment/homeless dwelling in the mean streets. Living and dying are equals when it comes to crime, nobody is safe from the killers who are bent on killing, they will find you no matter what. Sadly to many die this way, left alone in their basement suites to rigor right down to their feet. Nicely penned my talented friend.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton Author

Thanks Moore for visiting my Nativity Scene... :) bless you


LaThing profile image

LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

Such gruesome site!! So vivid, it's scary...... Your poems are amazingly expressive! Voting up and awesome!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Lathing for visiting my Nativity scene :)


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

this is really good because it tells a story. voted up...


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thanks Marlene this is one of my personal favs..:)


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, you paint a gruesome picture, but you take us to the very spine-tingling end, as only you can.

Beautifully done :).


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks tobusiness .. yeah Like I said to Marlene this was one of my personal favorites.. thank you for reading it.. Frank


Express10 profile image

Express10 3 years ago from East Coast

This is an awesome job, it really sounds like a scene from a good movie.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks once again express10 for visiting my Natavity Scene and for the great compliment :)


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

I read this one again in light of the Christmas season. Frank, you remind us that all is not well here on this earth. Sadly, not everyone will enjoy the peace and joy of the holiday. Your telling of this side of life is as ever, crisp and vivid.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Pegcole for revisiting my nativity scene :)


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 2 years ago from Georgia

Appropriate time to share this one again. As PegCole said, the world is not all brightness and light. As much as we don't like to be reminded, it's important not to lose sight of that.

Your work is exceptional, graphic and dark.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Those before me have left comments that hit the spot. Your writing reeks of reality Frank. You never leave us doubting but you do leave us thinking.

God bless and Merry Christmas.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Bless you both Cyndi and Tillsontitan for visiting my nativity scene .....:) Frank


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

I really like the title on this one!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you deal :)


James-wolve profile image

James-wolve 2 years ago from Morocco

Great job as always.Thanks for sharing.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks James wolve


sweetpikez profile image

sweetpikez 24 months ago

Dear Frank,

Great poem as always. I feel pity for the man. I can't imagine his struggle. I feel like I'm grilled.

Voted up and beautiful.

Best regards,

Sweetpikez


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you for your comment sweetpikez


Jodah profile image

Jodah 24 months ago from Queensland Australia

Great poem in true Frank Atanacio style.....I think I'll give a Brooklyn nativity scene a miss.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton Author

LOL thanks Jodah


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 20 months ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

Frank, you are the "Edgar Allen Poe" of Hub Pages. You went to a deep, dark place in invoking this reverse-Nativity scene, where, of course, everything is reversed. Instead of a pile of life, it is a pile of death; instead of a bundle of newness and vitality, it is a pile of decrepitude and the very old. Instead of "wise men" coming to attend the new life, the old death is attended by emergency service personnel, who, as yet, don't have a clue.

Well done, Frank. Voted 'up' and 'interesting.'


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 20 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much wingedcentaur..longtime where have you been hiding :)


anemixflarie profile image

anemixflarie 15 months ago

Well done! I love how you painted the scene completely, I can actually see it "it was like a nativity scene, Brooklyn style"


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you anemix


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 5 months ago from sunny Florida

Harsh cold reality...how many times does this "Nativity" play out in our country and around the world??? Lost, faceless, nameless...and we often never hear of it...

You have a gift for choosing a few, well selected words to bring the point home powerfully.

Angels are on the way to you and on the way to those faceless, nameless forgotten that we may pass on our way to somewhere. ps


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 months ago from Shelton Author

pstraubie, bless you dear one.. and thank you... :)

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