Every day a shooting
signals dinner time. Tonight it’s Marinara sauce
and fettuccine. Old vine Zinfandel
and red lights flashing.
The local hawk

left feathers on the sidewalk from
his latest strike. And now he’s back high
stretching out his wings
on a sunbeam, while

down at TV level there’s another report
from another state of another
incident with
the unthinkable once again the everyday

and the water on the stove
is close to boiling point.
Motive unknown

the newscaster says, just one more
disenchanted individual
armed and free. Darkness
spreads its wings above the mountain

to say it’s time to serve.
It’s all so easy: pick a jar from the shelf, buy
the weapon of choice,

and the first star says Grace
for each victim.

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications online and in print, and often reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant. A new book, Unmapped Worlds, featuring older poems that had suffered neglect, is out from FutureCycle Press. He recently took up watercoloring again, after twenty dry years. Read other articles by David.