poetry critical

online poetry workshop

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Welcome!

Welcome to Poetry Critical, an online poetry workshop. To post your own poetry you'll need to create a user id by typing a name and password in the box above and hitting 'New User'. If you just want to critique or jump into the discussion, however, you can go ahead and get started!

Random Poem:

Under the gun, she dies.
ARedLetter

I.
 1
 
 
“We have new leads,” 33 year old
 2
Detective Frank sips coffee from a stained cup, looks up, smiles,
 3
“Anna Hill is going to college.”
 4
joyous celebration, tossed back book jackets and spilled wine,
 5
tearful hugs and earth-shattering goodbyes.
 6
 
 
The door slams shut, a saga ending in the evening light. He sighs,
 7
puts the cup down, kisses his daughter and wife goodnight, sleeps.
 8
 
 
II.
 9
 
 
Insomnia runs the department, dark circles tell-tale signs of weary work,
 10
push-pins scattered on the dirty floor, thumb-tacks lodged into Styrofoam.
 11
The coffee is bad today, but it works, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed even at
 12
five thirty in the morning.
 13
 
 
“Frank, whaddya got for me?” the Chief, effervescent even during Armageddon, denies sleep.
 14
“Well, nothing. Herod's alibi checks out, Ysenia has no motive, had no opportunity, etcetera.”
 15
“At the ass end of the universe again, huh?” clap-backs, tired chuckles. Detective Frank pours more coffee, two sugars, three creams. French Vanilla. Stirred.
 16
 
 
III.
 17
 
 
Three thirty in the morning: Dead Time. Devil's Hour.
 18
Satan's playtime. et al.
 19
The neighborhood is silent, deadly, unmoving.
 20
In other, more lively places, papers shuffle, drawers open and close, coffee is consumed by the gallon.
 21
One-by-one, the street lamps flicker and then die.
 22
Suddenly, dogs bark, causing an uprising within the canine community,
 23
and a little girl wakes from a dream about unicorns and rainbows.
 24
 
 
A door creaks open, the only dog not barking rushes to the open door, expecting a friendly face.
 25
Tail wagging, panting, but then, teeth bared and it barks a single time before being silenced. In
 26
black, a figure creeps up the stairs,
 27
past family photos
 28
past a children's plaything forgotten on the foundation
 29
past the open door of a snoring housewife
 30
past the bathroom where moonlight shines lonely
 31
into the closed door room of an expecting child.
 32
 
 
“Daddy!”
 33
a twist of fate wakes the snoring housewife, expecting her husband, instead, the cold barrel of a gun.
 34
She kept pushing for a repaint of the walls, once white, now splattered red, almost artistic. The young girl cries, under the gun she dies.
 35
 
 
IV.
 36
 
 
Sirens mingle with the barking dogs, radio calls.
 37
Detective Frank slams the squad car's door, rushing up to the steps
 38
flashes his badge
 39
almost trips over Gabe the Dog
 40
climbs the steps bracing himself against the wall
 41
in horror he wipes his hands down
 42
and
 43
in horror he falls to his wife's side
 44
and
 45
in horror he listens as a lieutenant tells him he better see this
 46
and
 47
his mind leaves temporarily but he sees
 48
it all
 49
briefly he wonders who's going to clean this up
 50
then he returns and he breaks
 51
nobody blames him
 52
nobody envies him
 53
everybody leaves him.
 54
 
 
V.
 55
 
 
the next two days are filled with preparations
 56
and Sunday is when he finally works up the nerve
 57
the courage
 58
the wherewithal etcetera
 59
to call Anna Hill.
 60
 
 
The conversation is short, filled with tearful exchanges
 61
apologetic cries
 62
the norm when a family member is notified of another family member's death.
 63
 
 
He returns to the board,
 64
a spider web stretching out
 65
but he just can't see it.
 66
 
 
He realizes,
 67
maybe he's too close to the case.
 68
 
 
Maybe, if he had been there
 69
he could have stopped it.
 70
Scenarios that everybody think of
 71
rush through his mind:
 72
if he accepted his wife's invitation to bed
 73
if he took them out to dinner
 74
if he wasn't stingy with his vacation days
 75
if this
 76
if that
 77
if he had just been there.
 78
 
 
VI.
 79
 
 
“We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of the Wetherson family, Frank, Sarah, and Tess.”
 80

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