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July 15, 2010 by · 1 comment

David Chorlton

Crime Scene
Photo: alancleaver_2000

A scene plays out between
an apartment house balcony
and the sidewalk where a young man
walks first away, then turns back
weeping toward the woman
three screaming storeys high
on a spring day with the oleander
making nectar of the air.
He doesn’t see me walking
by, slowing so as to get a better look
at his face and listen to whatever
he is trying to say; he doesn’t know
I want to ask him if there’s any way
to help. What’s the protocol here?
Is it polite to ask a personal question
of a stranger when I’m not even sure
he speaks English? This emotional
display could be normal
for his culture, or else a prelude
to violence. He’s going back.
She waves her arms. Oh there’s trouble
enough in the world without this
so I quicken my step
and leave them behind, and it’s as easy
to do as tuning in
to the evening news when reports
come in from the wars
or from the site of a quarrel
that went out of control
where the yellow tape
tells you it was serious.

Categories: Frontpage · poetry


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