There’s no way of knowing
if the unyielding heat
or the suffocating crush of boredom
had anything to do
with us becoming outlaws
the summer we were all fourteen.
It started innocently enough
with a brazen dare
thrown down between
and assorted adolescent lies.
It was Tommy’s Idea,
The Maloneys had left on vacation
And every one of us broke in
taking jewelry, a bottle of bourbon
and an unloaded pistol.
The next day, a sultry Sunday
dinner was required at my grandmother's.
While I ate overcooked roast beef
and dried-out vegetables
the rest of the gang drank the bourbon
then foolishly took the gun
to the neighborhood 7-Eleven.
None of them returned.
Needless to say, my career
as an outlaw was over.
Bill reads "Short-Lived":
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Bill confesses: "Teenage boys are capable of doing some incredibly dumb things when driven by peer pressure. Some get lucky and don't get caught or hurt. This poem is for those without luck."
BILL BABER has had over three dozen crime stories published and his stories have recently appeared in Rogue from Near to the Knuckle, Hardboiled Crime Scene from Dead Guns Press and Locked & Loaded from One Eye Press. He has also had a number of poems published online and in the occasional literary journal. His crime writing has earned Derringer Award and Best of the Net consideration. A book of his poetry, Where the Wind Comes to Play was published by Berberis Press in 2011. He lives in Tucson with his wife and a spoiled dog and has been known to cross the border for a cold beer. He is working on his first novel.