a murder in the old neighborhood

by Kristina Woodhill

one pair of eyes staring
draws the next pair closer

and so on,

the crowd gathers
a nervous rustling, curious

tentative magnets push-pull
internal quiver of pale resistance

an odor in the mugged air
captive like a late summer afternoon

stuck to a sweaty back hunkered in the south;
there are small round drops on the ground;

a sidewalk trips on its own cracks
led astray once, raped by probing roots,

heaved up and hurried past
the suspected sagging,

moldering adobe abode, the hidey-hole
of intended consequences,

emanating grisly vapors
of a stench so septic, so putrid,

the crowd's eyes water
through squinting stares

through leaves aloft
hung tight, wavering,
loath to exposing entirely

the near naked
hard wrinkled
live oak tree

where the unified, raucous
voice of the crowd

screeches its
Caw! Caw! Caw!


Author's Note: a rotting beam, a ring dripping poison, a murder of crows, and thou

Posted on 10/09/2009
Copyright © 2019 Kristina Woodhill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 10/09/09 at 06:24 PM

A very cool poem of wonderfully simple environs, given a storyline to act out. Terrific read. It's democratic: it's all for itself, and that's great for a poem to be, imho. Poe-ish?! Much enjoyed here. Thanks.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 10/09/09 at 09:25 PM

Yes, I agree with Greg - Poe-ish but with a softness and compassion of a feminine voice well-laid upon the ears. But you do give me an eye full and a nose full with the striking, piercing images of this piece. Beautifully crafted and thought-provoking. Thanks Kristina.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 10/10/09 at 01:55 AM

This freaked me out. (I admit to the crime of being a true-crime reader.)
a sidewalk trips on its own cracks is genious. adobe/abode. it never ends, where your mind goes, Kristina. I am going to plant myself in this comment area and haunt this poem. Live here.

Caw! Caw! Caw!

Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 10/10/09 at 07:36 PM

This is so cleverly constructed, such a surprise and revelation it guarantees itself at least two reads in a row. Beautifully playful with language and idea, seasonal, mock serious, at the same time ominous!

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 10/12/09 at 03:10 PM

When I read this, what do I see? I see a wonderfully crafted scenarios and acutely perceived. I see a poet who has shopped smartly, at the word store, for those which would more than fit the tales here told.

Posted by George Hoerner on 06/06/10 at 08:20 PM

Great, Great write Kristina as all have said above. You choose your words like a chef would choose his herbs and spices using them carefully and not too little and not too much. Applied with the exact amount needed to produce a great product.

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