Dinner and Tear Gas

We sat under the stars, a group of friends,
with candles burning and the smell
of night jasmine,
which mingled with the tear gas that came across the dark and open space.
Unwelcome.
Shouts and cries mingled with our low voices, far enough away to intrude only slightly.
But felt.
And when it came to leave, we glanced nervously into the shadows,
that seemed darker than before, menacing.
Reassuring words, ‘I’ll follow you home, make sure it’s all ok.”
The police, long gone, and also the mob,
but the fence taken down and a house not far away, ransacked.
This is a story that will not go away.