With planned barbarism they came.
Safety in numbers.
Their eyes as dead as a Great White’s.
Jittering on their hair triggers.
Never questioning the barked orders of their commanders.
My house of precious ones scream from their interrupted sleep.
Boots on the floor doom doom.
Screams cut short by gagging sounds. Ballistic noise.
And I, with rebellious heart,
try to find courage, think of action. Too late.
With fists of iron they drag us outside
under sputtering streetlamps.
Multitudes of scarcely-known neighbors
in lines on the night time street,
crying, shouting, begging.
Random rifle reports,
not warnings. People fall.
The squeaky wheels got the grease.
And I am trying to calm down,
hugging my own
with emotion scarcely shown
until this night.
“You are the father?”,
one of these brutes says.
“Come here. Stand here.”
The shark eyes look into mine,
and my only thoughts,
my last thoughts,
are “why such black automated hate?”
“does he not see me?”
“I am a person”.
SMACK. He hits me in the cheekbone with his gun,
and I stumble, bleeding.
The children scream and try to help me up.
That is a mistake, for they do not want you up.
But I stand stupidly.
Brute puts his hand under my chin, and tilts my head back.
And then, and then.
There’s a bang and I fall in my turn.
My teeth shattered, hole through my palate and on and on.
I swallow and swallow, but there’s too much.
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.