Friday, May 3, 2013

Poem about Chardon and Geauga County

Below is a draft of a poem-in-progress. It is somewhat fictionalized (my daughters are no longer little girls)--but it is true enough!

Just Under the Surface

Ratatatatatatatatatat . . .

The brutal rhythm goes on beyond my ability to count the rounds.
Any evening of the year, down at the end of my cul-de-sac, the dead end,
Or in two places across the road, less than a Hail Mary pass away,
Neighbors shoot at imagined enemies with some sort of automatic rifle--
A machine gun, in my mind, a terrible weapon of war,
Discharged into the woods in this suburban paradise.

My little daughters walking on the wooded path
The coyotes, the deer
Better beware
As a hail of fire rifles through the wood.

Under the surface under the surface of this wealthy suburban county
Like an embarrassing hateful tattoo
Is fear and hatred and violence
More intense than in the 3rd World Cleveland ghetto.

So I was not altogether surprised

When TJ Lane let loose his disturbed vision of vengeance
On innocent classmates in Chardon High School
That late winter day in 2012.

That anger, hatred, frustration is there. It is there, lurking
Just under the surface in wealthy Chardon,

Privileged Geauga County Ohio.

[Copyright 2013 by Robert M. Coughlin]

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