After Dark, the Park
children and parents and dogs and walkers
from the park.
Along the perimeter
dim, uncertain streetlights light up,
casting argon shadows
on the vacant grass, the deserted playground, the empty tables.
Something savage sits in silence
and the police car turning
the corner cannot drive it away.
They shot a woman for her suitcase
in the next block.
And we peer from behind our locked windows−
behind our alarm systems
with our aging dogs
and our brand-new guns−
from across the street, while
somewhere a discarded woman's pantsuit
in a lunar wind.
Perry L. Powell is a systems analyst who lives and writes near Atlanta, Georgia. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Dead Snakes, A Handful of Stones, A Hundred Gourds, Atavic Poetry, Baby Lawn Literature, Decades Review, Deep Water Literary Journal, Frogpond, Haiku Presence, Indigo Rising, Lucid Rhythms, Mobius The Journal of Social Change, Poetry Pacific, Prune Juice, Quantum Poetry Magazine, Ribbons, The Blue Hour, The Camel Saloon, The Credo, The Foliate Oak, The Heron's Nest, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Lyric, The Mind[less] Muse, The Rotary Dial, Turtle Island Quarterly, and Wolf Willow Journal.