Monday, September 8, 2008

Like a Rabid Dog

The police said he had ninety rocks in his pockets when they found him
splayed in the street like a dead animal.

Witnesses said he was foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog.
They watched him collapse in the street.

Some say he was screaming and crying like a wild animal.
They stared at him.

They stood by while his body convulsed and he went into cardiac arrest.
They watched his body go limp.

They said he had ninety rocks in his pockets when they found him.
He died with foam around his mouth like a rabid dog.

They stared at him.


*The prompt at readwritepoem this week is 'rubbernecking.' I've wanted to write this poem for a very long time. Thanks to Carolee for the prompt that helped me record a part of my history.

13 comments:

sister AE said...

spare and powerful. i could feel their watching, just watching eyes.

Nathan said...

The repetition reinforces the startling power of this poem. A well-crafted piece.

anthonynorth said...

You bring out our fascination with such things in this.

Jo said...

This is a chilling write......really engages the reader, my mind is now busy spinning the backstory. I agree with Nathan, the repetition is very effective.

polkadotwitch said...

i agree with nathan ... the repetition makes this piece. the temptation in a piece like this (at least for me) is to do some preaching in it or infuse some blatant social commentary. you stopped short of that and instead, repeated some of the lines. it was the perfect way to get this across!

Regina Clare Jane said...

Ditto with the comment from Nathan...
Oh my- this poem just strikes at the heart... words like 'watching' and 'staring', 'stood by'- surrounded by people and still dying alone...
Very powerful, Susan.

christine said...

Great! Made me hurt. You're back in full force, and then some.

Thanks for your comments on my piece. I'll let you know if I go beack to it!

Brendan said...

The accuracy of the stone count is somehow just as dealy important as the skewer of his limbs and yowl of his voice. Very good.

Annamari said...

I like the rythm, the repetition... I remeber being there.

Rethabile said...

What they said, especially the lilt of the repetition. It's the sad story of us, humans, and brings to mind one of Jo's recent poems about riding in the tube.

Yeah, you're back alright.

Kimberlee said...

Wonderful stuff surrounding a difficult topic. Great job.

rebecca said...

pretty powerful write and it must have been something quite intense to witness.

susan said...

Rebecca,
My aunt recounted this to me. My young uncle, whom I worshipped as a child, overdosed on crack in the 90s. The scene as she described it to me, stayed with me. The crack epidemic was prevalent in my community. If AIDS wasn't snatching away our loved ones, crack was.

I previously stated if I revised but I'm certain, I'll be revisiting this. I just don't know when. This is too early a draft to let it be. Still, penning it was an incredible release.