The Last Ditch (rensaku)


Friday afternoon
rides down the road like Sunday.
Soft, church shushed quiet...

but no hymn bells ring.
There’s only sirens screaming
dog barks and gunshots

before the hush falls
returning frozen silence
that precedes the storm.

Once neighborly friends
now brawl in the canned goods aisle—
broken hearts and jars

commingle with blood
spilled from rabid panic
that feeds on itself.

People whisper words
like starvation, pandemic
we’re all going to die...

...and yet, there is hope.
Reason can always be found
there, in the last ditch

where two strangers meet
and, while keeping their distance
help each other out.