What does it mean
to be in the parking lot—
a bending weed under ocean—
retrieving a bag of frozen peas
from the ground, and then
divorced from life—
forced into a new marriage
where mystery has carved "CROATOAN"
into a tree? Now, she is Stonehenge;
a group of lonely stones
thrusting history into sky.
She said, she said, she said,
it will not happen to me,
but there are hundreds of victims a year,
predators hiding in bushes—
invisible as wind—six foot seven dog catchers—
nets, raised guillotines.
Silly to face the needle all life long
and not know it, wagging a happy tail
till the death serum stops the wag
mid-beat. The peas slip from her hand,
fall onto black,
rattle their tale to the melting tar.
She never saw him coming.
The dog catcher hauls her off
leaving the trunk open, driver's seat empty,
and her purse—
a spilled drink—
all over the shivering ground.
— Tamara Oakman