Monday, December 12, 2011

C.J. Edwards


Late afternoon, 1300 block
of North Rural, summer shadows
stretching across curbed sidewalks,

Gawkers and young kids skulk
to peek, and whisper behind
their hands to each other.
Sirens scream
and choked cries
clot the air.

An officer's shout moves everyone back
a few feet, more than needed
to get out of the way.

Someone says two speeding cars
shot at each other.

The news later said he was only thirteen.
In the moment, no one could tell
how old he was.

When he was gone, the crowd pushed back
beyond the tape, stared while the officer
stood over a torn and bloodied

SpongeBob t-shirt.

Gerald So reads "Nothing to See Here":

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C.J. confesses: "There are many images that stay with you after more than ten years as a police officer. For me, one of the most vivid is what I saw when I responded to a person shot one summer afternoon in Indianapolis, and found a thirteen year old boy lying on the sidewalk with a bullet wound to his head. I stood over his bloody clothing until it was recovered by the Crime Lab, and didn’t leave the crime scene until late that night."

C.J. EDWARDSlives in Indianapolis, IN, and has been a police officer for eleven years. His work can been seen in American Blue: Real Stories by Real Cops from Varro Press, the online crime fiction journal All Due Respect, and the debut issue of pulp fiction quarterly Pulp Modern, now available at


Anonymous said...

Right between the eyes, CJ. Poetry should hit like that every time. This one sure does. Like a Speed Graphic pic of a crime scene. tragfedy and social comment, harsh and bare in the flash bulb light. Cool.

Unknown said...

Wow, CJ.

That last line hit me like a Tyson punch to the gut.

Top notch.

Regards & Respect,

Paul D Brazill said...

Splendid, powerful stuff.

C.J. said...

Thanks a lot!