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A Common Misperception

It's quiet like that. Bucolic.
Looks like nothing's going wrong anywhere at all.
Bare trees rocking back and forth. Three crows
chasing an owl across the field into the woods.
Yesterday, men appeared at the top of the driveó
rifles, orange vests, big boots, at the same moment
dog ran at them barking and a 350 ton C-5 Air Force
cargo plane grazed us all. Its 200 foot wingspan at tree top,
the noise of it making each of us hold his or her
breath for a moment. Dog didn't bite the men.
Men didn't shoot dog; plane didn't crash.
Of course they were puzzled by the woman shouting
from the doorway of the house.


I wasn't shouting. I was swearing. At dog. At men
with rifles. Cargo planes. Forest. One week after
San Bernardino. The inexplicable mother and father.
It gets confusing. Which was which. When and where.
We heard the shots. Saw someone fall. The plane.
Boots on the ground. Dog barking.
One thing blending to another. Linkage disequilibrium, yes.
Something vestigial in us all. You might be the enemy
you were fighting from the air. What you know
might be useful information if you could shake your own self
down. Could remember what country you came from. What
language you were taught to speak. If you were the men
in the plane or the men the plane had come to take.
If you were the plane or if you were the bolts
on that plane or simply a passenger. What feeds us. What
we feed on. The men faded back into the woods. The plane
disappeared. Dog came back into the house.

Carol Potter


Spring 2017

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