Monday, February 3, 2020

David Cranmer


A skilled green thumb, with weathered
caring hands and earth-crusted fingernails
is hunched over, tending his gladiolus-filled acreage.

Neighbors see him among tall, color-studded stalks
of purple, red, white, and yellow—dazzling and swaying—
as he prunes and weeds the days along.

But evil slides at bent angles, unnoticed in the light,
—a hitcher invited in for respite delivers no mercy,
and behind shuttered windows, strikes.

"This doesn’t happen here?" a village pines in shock,
learning a fellow resident had been bound,
gagged, and bludgeoned with a rock in his own workshop.

A gut-churning contradiction to a peaceful life.

Thirty-five years on, his murder remains unsolved
—and the grand gladiolus beds are another's yard,
fenced off and grassy with sunny dots of dandelions.

A gardener had lived here and now he is gone,
but those who knew Hugh Chaffin remember
how he walked the rows and rows of dancing blooms.

David reads "Hugh Chaffin":

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David confesses: "When I was a teen, our next-door neighbor was murdered. He was a kind, old man who had been invited over to our home on several occasions. On the evening he was killed, our family was watching The A-Team and when we learned what had happened, I had a hard time mentally making the juxtaposition between the cartoonish program with the horrific reality."

DAVID CRANMER is the editor of the BEAT to a PULP webzine and whose own body of work has appeared in such diverse publications as Needle: A Magazine of Noir, LitReactor, Macmillan’s Criminal Element, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. He's a dedicated Whovian who enjoys jazz and backgammon. He can be found physically in scenic upstate New York where he lives with his wife and daughter, and he can be found virtually on Twitter @BEATtoaPULP.

1 comment:

Sheila Grimes said...

I remember that time and man. You painted an awesome picture in your writing. Love Sis.