False Pretenses

False Pretenses

False Pretenses.jpg

Sometimes a poem starts with a photo.

You wear innocence
like the face of a mantis,
out of focus,
using the limits
of low light,

depth of field. Stealth
has its moments. Waiting
to pounce on the mistakes of
those close to you should not
be one of them.

No Longer Innocents

The Day Sixteen prompt from napowrimo.net for 2016 NaPoWriMo is an Almanac Questionnaire soliciting answers for 23 categories, from weather, flora and architecture to “what you fear” and “picture on your city’s postcard,” with directions to write a poem based on any of your answers.  I’ve chosen my answer for “Found on the Street” – the end of innocence resulting from an incident 44 years ago.  This isn’t accompanied by my usual photo or graphic, because it was pretty much a black and white night when all we saw was shades of gray.  My mind won’t allow me to assign some random image to it.

No Longer Innocents

two blocks off campus
not exactly desirable
our cars waiting

street corner
between street lights
talking with locals

we’re cool
they’re cool
we’re drunk
they’re not

half of us split
walk to our car
wave as we pass
drive away

phone call next morning
hospital, critical
razor slash to face
as our taillights receded

loss of an eye
for one
loss of innocence
for all