A Poetic Response to Boston

For Jaleeza, at 33rd and Troost

She watches TV, sprawled on her tummy,
on the floor. Mommy says it’s safer
than the couch. That’s all she says
but Jaleeza knows
stray bullets fly high.
She hugs the floor and worries.
Her mom, on the couch,
her brother in the kitchen.
Where’s the baby?
She tracks their movements.
You never know. You never know.
Jaleeza watches the news
prostrate on the floor.
She prays Martin wasn’t scared
before the bombing.
He was 8. Same as her.
She stares at Boston’s finish-line panic,
over and over, wondering why
those people didn’t know
crowds are dangerous, strangers will kill you,
and the world is a marathon of terror.

© Jan Sokoloff Harness, April 2013

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