Sunday, April 12, 2020


The Shadow Over Ed's House

There had been something funny about the egg,
and the chick, when it hatched that May,
had grown monstrous fast,
but it wasn't Ed's fault about the old lady's dog,
and he’d waited till the neighborhood kids
were indoors playing video games,
or at camp, before he let it out.

After it ate the dog,
it wouldn’t come back in,
not even for a porkchop,
and he’d see it now and again,
at the edge of the woods,
by the garbage cans,
once, on the Waltons’ roof
(and how’d it get up there?),
always keeping its distance.

But now,
there was a shadow, broad and long,
moving fast across the lawn,
something too big to be a hawk,
high up, silhouetted by the sun,
and he’d counted the kids twice
since the end of camp,
but still hadn’t seen Sally,
or the freckled kid
from the next street over,
but maybe they just hadn’t returned yet,
from wherever they’d gone.

It seemed a bit late now
to tell the authorities what he knew,
so he got his dad’s old .22,
staked 20 pounds of raw meat
under the crabapple,
and watched from thick undergrowth
where the back yard met the trees:
it was past time to put this baby down.

Something rustled in the wood.

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