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reality SHOT

by Sandy M. Humphrey

kitchen tile cool beneath my toes
groggy fog surrounding senses
late night news dozing on the couch hangover
popping night time meds by refrigerator light
backdoor breeze rustling leaves outside
interrupted by the sound ripping through
quietness of the neighborhood

“a shot rang out in the dark”

did i hear what i thought
head cocked listening for sounds to follow
eerie silence broken by barking dogs
no sirens screaming
no one screaming
shaking it off closing the backdoor
checking the locks
climbing into bed careful
not to disturb slumbering mate
still listening
for what i do not know

sleep restless
morning dawns stormy
news anchors on the tv
report from the other room
“Man Found Shot In Street After
Neighbors Report Hearing Gunshot”

Now I bolt
Out of bed dialing husband
Just moments ago he left for work
I love you’s exchanged
“last night I heard a gunshot”

The words tumble out of my mouth
What seemed dreamlike hours before
Becomes stark reality minutes from daylight
Just blocks away investigators are still on the scene
While I try to figure out if I did hear
What I heard and when
I became so desensitized
To just lock the door
On violence
And go to bed
Even though
Blocks away
A man lay



Author's Note: shaken and stirred by the reality of existence around me today, it really did happen. Is it one of those sounds we have become startled by but not suprised to hear? I am concerned for the mortality of a man I do not know and facts I have yet to ascertain.

Posted on 09/26/2007
Copyright © 2024 Sandy M. Humphrey

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 09/26/07 at 06:27 PM

Powerfully expressed. The crafted suspense, the progression-- mirrors the events, shocking and reflective in its aim on reality and how we experience it.

Posted by Joe Cramer on 09/27/07 at 01:41 PM

Well done!!!

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