Would like to be so clever—
put it all on the page in some obscure manner
that would make you go,
“Oh, isn’t this deep, and beautiful
and worthy of acclaim?”
The bottom line is this is not going to be
a very good poem.
I may not ever be ready
to share what’s really in my head,
how it replays those words,
“just before I slit his throat”
over and over.
Don’t want to say I’m haunted
by the true crime,
but it’s sitting there
under the surface,
every time I turn from the window
and the natural world.
I catch myself thinking:
Don’t forget to lock the door.
Don’t stop to play the Samaritan.
Don’t ever drop your guard.
Maybe I’m too paranoid
to be reading Capote in the first place,
there’s that darkness deep inside
that must be satisfied.
All of us have the capacity—
all of us can dig a little and find
where evil lies.
Some of us will never cross the line.
(What decides who is on which side?)
But the reality is,
Evil comes out of hiding
to strike like a gator on a bayou
They are out there-empty and black inside
waiting to make their move.
We all know this, yet it’s so
easy to put the facts out of mind – to forget.
Don’t ever forget.
In the beginning I disclaimed
about being clever.
Good thing I did.
Kathleen Mortensen © 2017