Monday, May 19, 2014

Ann Clark

"You don't need to be concerned about the 'why.' You care about the 'who,'" —Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Paul Stern, commenting on woman's attack on sleeping husband in Everett, WA


It's certainly not how I would have done it.
There are dollar stores everywhere,
and no one pays attention if you buy a gallon or so
of bleach,
a couple boxes of lawn and leaf bags.
Stop at a shopping plaza or two,
wait in line while a distracted clerk
rings you up,
and plays with a smartphone.
Pay in cash.

I wonder, too,
at the choice of a Sawzall.
A clerk at Home Depot or Lowe's
might remember a woman buying that sort of thing,
sexism being what it is,
let's face it,
you need the proper tool for the job,
and a reciprocating saw makes as much sense
as trying to stab someone with a bread knife.
What you need for your basic decapitation
is a chainsaw.

Annabelle Edwards reads "Concerned About the 'How'":

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Ann confesses: "Here is just one of many reports of the case that sparked this poem. At the time I thought, 'Well, that woman clearly has no idea how a Sawzall works, and why did she buy all the bleach and bags at the same store?!' Then I thought that my reaction might just be a little 'off.' Surely I was supposed to be thinking, 'Oh, dear Lord! She tried to cut her husband's head off!' rather than critiquing her style."

ANN CLARK teaches Introduction to Crime Culture at SUNY Jefferson in Watertown, NY, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in English (creative writing emphasis) at Binghamton University. Her work has been published in Ragazine, Blue Line, Poetry Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is happily married to a man who owns many power tools.

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