By Tom King
It’s just a quiet town, my town;
One church and a flock of schools,
And the three-nights-a-week softball tournament,
When the local warriors trot out their stuff
…on a summer’s evening.
Last week the college had a film – Disney flick;
Dalmatians or Lippizaners or such as that.
Three reels and a break for popcorn in the middle
And the young men of good report walk their ladies home talking
…in whispers intently.
Tonight the neighbor kid beat up a cop – our cop!
Something about a license plate,
And Mrs. Peavy, who is 60, carries a stick on her early morning walk
To fend off the ragged refugees our town once welcomed
…with open arms.
Next week when all the gossip runs its troubled course,
And all the misfits we’ve taken in are suitably castigated and arrayed
Before us all for our collective misjudgment,
It will wound the gentler hearts, the ones who’ve left their doors unlocked
…for so many years.
It is they, who will feel the loss most keenly.