Monday, June 19, 2017

Oneida Street

I was seven years old the first time I heard a gunshot.

I'd waited for my parents to turn off their bedroom light
before quietly stacking my dolls under my arms to continue
my play by the light of the streetlamp in the living room.

Three shots were fired.
Rubber screamed against cement.
Three beats of silence and then sirens.
I don't remember the sound of glass shattering,
but the bay window from the house catty-corner from
my own was now scattered across the lawn.

My father ran into the room and I waited for
the furrowed brow and demand of an explanation.
His anger never came.

The doorbell rang and my mother jumped.
A tired policeman sat in our living room,
one restless foot crushed the arm of my doll.

My mother brought him coffee and
he asked questions that I didn't
know how to answer.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my! I can't even begin to imagine the confusion and fear of your seven-year-old self. I keep going back to "one restless foot crushed the arm of my doll."