Don’t know why

Hi everyone,

I don’t know why I thought of this poem. It’s not one of my best ones. The event happened 79 years ago, when I was a little boy living in Ajo, Arizona. I don’t usually write about such matters, but my editor for CONNECTING DOTS, WENDY MURRAY, wanted me to write about things close to the bone, incidents that meant something to me. This was one of them.

I’m 7. Darting among the large pillars that support the roof, my friend Rosemary and I make it down the long, covered walkway in front of the town's single block of stores. The bar sits at the far end.


Rumors pull kids
down the walk, 
to the place we’re not
supposed to go,
to the bar
where they say
a man got killed last night,

to see a stain
they say is there,
by the door 
where two guys fought.

We go to see,
but not too close.
The air smells damp,
The stain is dark like blood,
but could be dirt.

I wonder why
some men think 
they have to fight,
fall on a sidewalk
late at night.

Dirt or blood,
I've seen enough.
I want to go.

(c) 2003 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

6 comments on “Don’t know why

    • Hi, Carol. Thank you for stopping by this morning My best friend, Rosemary, was four years older than I. She wanted to go see the site of the killing, so naturally I went along.

    • I agree, Jane. I guess we grow up in bits and pieces, depending on the experiences we have as children. That was one of those bits.

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