“Shots Fired” by Barbara Ann Carle

Barbara Ann Carle


She didn’t deserve custody of the children
he calmly explained
seated in the interrogation room
hands covered with brown paper bags.

It was his weekend with their kids.
When it was time for them to go home
she and her nephew approached the house.
Her parents and sister waited in the van.

He answered the bell, emptied his revolver
into his ex-wife then closed the door.
Miraculously her nephew was uninjured.
The family dragged her body
off the porch, onto the neighbor’s lawn.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Later at the P.D.
they sat in gray plastic chairs
waiting to give their statements
her tissue and brain matter splattered
over their clothes.

A week later he was out on bond
unheard of in a murder case.
Money talks.

Sunday he stood before the congregation
at his local church
hands clutching the lectern
confessed his sins
begged to be allowed to teach his Sunday school class.

Members of the congregation said
What could we do? He repented.

He taught that class
until the day he was sentenced
to ninety-nine years.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012
Tribute to Law Enforcement Poets

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