Snapshots of a Small Town

shore leave on sunday

local priest smirks condescendingly

dark knowledge spilling out over the rim

of that pristine white collar.

watch that boy ducking into the cracks in the wall

wife alone and

desperate for a taste of something new

stirring the pot with

a thick wooden spoon until

hubby gets home.

dinner’s ready.

back of the local grocery

bereft of passion scorned by life

waiting for the man to meet him and

sell him joy for the modest price of

his independence and

dignity.

the kids are chasing the dog

squealing with impish delight

saliva pouring out their serrated maws like so much cake batter

stabbing into it with vicious lisps and howls

slinging rocks like arrows as the blood lets.

she saw the face of god and cried that day

sitting on the ashen hill which overlooks the old west end.

her brother died in the fire that took it all out

locked in a crib as they ran out screaming

her mother wailed that night but lost her voice.

and her mind.

she’s making her way down the hill towards the waterfront

as the good lord instructed.

won’t stop til she’s in over her head

and a few fathoms extra.

the principal sat there

searing holes into the downturned scalp of the young boy with his sharp eyes.

long-sleeve button up crawling out over the edge of his thick leather belt

tie undone, greasy combover clinging to the pasty flesh of his prodigious forehead.

sweating bullets

snorting between strained gasps of dank blighted air.

he rose from the tattered rolling chair

rattling and creaking

released from its burden.

walked around the desk to the sheepish youth.

placing one meaty unwashed palm

on his frail shoulder.

the cruel world of polite society

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