Monday, April 11, 2016

Poem of the Day: “I’d Never Noticed” by John Reinhart, Frequent Contributor

I’d Never Noticed
John Reinhart

Across the street
in one of the eight apartments
last night a ten-year-old
developmentally disabled boy

His grandmother found his body
prone on the floor -
the first responders rushed
him away
to breathe one last time
strapped to a gurney
in a hospital.

All night the detectives
stayed, first to calm grandma,
but then to investigate,
only leaving after sunrise.

I slept through the fire engines,
cruisers, ambulance, and unmarked
but clearly out of place SUVs
that brought detectives,
only stirring as the medics
loaded a boy I’d never noticed
into his screaming hearse.

The primary entrance
to this apartment building
is on the other side, out of view
from my brightly colored porch
and in five years we have met
only a handful of residents
who have come and gone again:
Swamp Man Dave and Sugar stand out
because the former spotted a UFO
and the latter was a dog.

Police continue to investigate
while I continue to wonder
how far we’ve come to be so distant
from the people we live nearest to
and how one unfamiliar boy
I’d never seen has shaken my faith
in myself.

Poet’s Notes:  This is a true and truly awful story. Police arrested the grandmother ( What struck me was not the details so much as the underlying loss of connection between people, especially when I try at least to be aware of all my neighbors.

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