Today's poem is by Allan Peterson

Over a Ballpoint

They are afraid they said
those being interviewed and unable to give an analogy for future.
Particularly those children in Mrs. Moreno's fifth grade
because they could be shot by a classmate over a ballpoint
pen or lunch milk.
Some say by inventing we are revealing
how we work to ourselves. Camera an eye. Computer
as nerve webs. So what's the gun? What part?
A cell gone crazy in cancer? A virus ruining its host
out from under it?
A motionless dog in the cardboard box
brought home from the vet and buried is beyond explaining.
Blood afraid is paler than anger. The ocean hesitates twice a day
going out, then in, then out of the far safe harbor at Valparaiso.
Someone says violence lingers unasked
like the Gulf Stream persisting in the North Atlantic.
Or God as a sidearm dispensing justice like the river-colored nerve
that runs and twitches between ego and trigger-finger.
The corpus corrosive.
The children say the shots sounded like firecrackers—snaps—
and not big ones at that. Not resonant, but flat. Deadpan.
One wrote there was no echo at the end.

Copyright © 2008 Allan Peterson All rights reserved
from Iron Horse Literary Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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