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A Nativity Scene, Brooklyn Style

Updated on December 21, 2017

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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    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 months ago from Shelton

      Staten Island.. Nice... :)thanks for the support Robert :)

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      3 months ago

      Apparently they've thrown a lot of money into it to improve the borough. My family moved to Staten Island decades ago.

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 months ago from Shelton

      Brooklyn.. once the Garden spot of the world...LOL thanks for the visit my friend

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      3 months ago

      You have a flair for dark poetry. Are you from Brooklyn originally?

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 months ago from Shelton

      thank you Thomas..:)

    • profile image

      Thomas Hoey 

      4 months ago

      this was a dramatic scene in February, love the comparison and I get it very good my friend

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago from Shelton

      thank you fb c21

    • profile image

      Facebook Creeper21 

      6 months ago

      I read this maybe over the summer I forget, but reading it again near Christmas gave it an eerie, but ring true feel. Loved it

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago from Shelton

      You too Wayne thanks for reading my Nativity

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago from Shelton

      James thanks so much for reading my nativity...:)

    • profile image

      Wayne Bagget 

      6 months ago

      I like the concept, how you switched the good scene into a modern day horrible scene. I like this poem, very dramatic

    • profile image

      James Callink 

      6 months ago

      Wow what a reversal in this nativity, I like how you just went from dark to darker

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      6 months ago from Shelton

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

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you anemix

    • anemixflarie profile image

      Anemix 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

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

    • wingedcentaur profile image

      William Thomas 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      LOL thanks Jodah

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you for your comment sweetpikez

    • sweetpikez profile image

      Pinky de Garcia 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      thanks James wolve

    • James-wolve profile image

      Tijani Achamlal 

      3 years ago from Morocco

      Great job as always.Thanks for sharing.

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you deal :)

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 

      3 years ago from Earth

      I really like the title on this one!

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

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

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      4 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.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      4 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.

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

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

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

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

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      5 years ago from East Coast

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

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

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

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

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

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 

      5 years ago

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

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Lathing for visiting my Nativity scene :)

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

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

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      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 :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

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

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 

      5 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!!!!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

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

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      Justasksusan thanks for visiting my Nativity scene Brooklyn Style :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

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

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

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

    • DFiduccia profile image

      DFiduccia 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

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

      DF

    • Frank Atanacio profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

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

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 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.

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