Scott McMillan three years old,

he is the child who scribbles outside the lines on one day,
killed by his parents the next.

Swung like a tetherball, as if somehow they did not know
he was a real living person.

Jillian, Gary and Amber thought to have a little fun
with the boy and his brother.

All it took was electrical tape and a frying pan.
It’s a game, it’s funny, see us laughing!

His big brother knows the rules. Don’t cry, don’t fight,
don’t give them something to laugh at. It will end.

In our imaginations we can sense the fear one person
feels when the blows rain down. Terror? I don’t believe

the imagination can be stretched that far. At the age
of three what could Scott know of his mortality? Is there

a moment of realization that the end is near, that it is here?
If so, if he knew death was happening, knew he was dying,

how far into that moment do we really want to go? I can’t
get there, my will is too weak, or sensitive, or afraid to go

so far into his last seconds as the blows rain down. But I do
want to know, or even just believe there is a moment,

an instant where peace replaces terror, replaces pain,
when infinite quiet approaches and olive branches appear.