For Lack of What is Found There

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
— William Carlos Williams,  Asphodel, That Greeny Flower, 1955

At the front a hummingbird.
In the back yard rabbits and an orderly
line of doves taking turns
at the suet cake.
Bright sun. No wind. And the news about to fight
its way between commercials
to bring a daily sadness
to the screen. The street

slopes quietly down to where
drought begins. A few clouds decorate
the eastern sky, but stay
dry as legislation afraid
to keep guns from the hands of tonight’s
party-goers, who

will be up late to enjoy
the coolest hours, sweat dripping from the moon
and all night stores
aglow beside the rising prices
for gasoline at the pumps outside them.
The loneliest among us

have the late shows to distract them
while starlight shines
on a parking lot hosting
a company of revelers
until good times turn to bad

and the night rains
gunshot with
each rhyming gunshot.

David Chorlton lived in Vienna for most of the 1970s before moving to Phoenix. It was an exchange of wind and rain for the desert heat and a cultural shift. He has a non-fiction book published this year that tells the story of a 1961 murder near Vienna, for which one of his cousins was wrongly convicted. That is "The Long White Glove," from New Meridian Arts. Read other articles by David.