the shift

11 May
at first,
brother and i lived
in the rural countryside
locks on doors were not bolted
no crime to speak of
but father's earnings went south
the days of housing and stocks tanking

dad sold the wooded house
moved to a tacky apartment
twenty miles from the farmlands
into the inner city
of gang fights every weekend
on friday night football
and rumbles
brother and i
were now in a school
of bomb scares weekly

i saw how the environment
shifted the vision
we toughened up

on a night
heard a loud kaboom from the first floor
(we lived on the second)
the apartment like a shotgun police kept us
indoors for a full day

a man on the first floor
in his boxers looking at tv
head plastered on wall
through the front bay
with a sawed-off
by a shadowed
mafia hit man

we kids saw the carnage
cleanup crews scraping off
the splattered wallpaper
carpets thrown into the dumpster
in the back

the next day
we kids
unrolled the carpets and looked at
the skull fragments
with bits of rotting brain

with teardrops we missed the country fields
with horses and cattle
forests and trees
farmlands of growing things
just fifteen miles to the east

4.5 10/10
© Brian Peter Hodgkinson    
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Posted by on May 11, 2022 in Poetry


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