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lightning strikes

lightning struck the house next door
and no one lives there anymore.
cars keep crashing on my street
on sidewalks where the children meet
to play the games the stalkers like
and cars are stolen. so are bikes.
my neighbour had a heart attack
last wednesday, and they took him back
to the hospital where he spent his life
on the drugs that kept him from the knife.
the woman who lives two doors down
is missing. they think that she was drowned
in a boating accident on the lake.
i hope not, for her mother’s sake,
‘cos she has cancer of the liver.
another blow like this would shiver
her world, and break it down to dust.
i just don’t understand the lust
for tragedy most people seem
to want to have. it’s like some dream
where you’re standing out there at the edge
of the crowd and gawking into the wedge
like cars that slow at the accident site
and people who look as if they might
see a body part. or a splotch of blood.
i wonder, if they thought they could
would they take away a souvenir
so that they could say “hey, i was there,
right there, when they carried the bodies away.”
it’s kinda sick. but i can say
that i do not follow police cars.
i shy from the yellow tape that bars
the murder scene, the bombing ground.
there is enough tragedy around
without my being there to see
the things i know could happen to me.

l.t. dougherty 2002

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