Monday, June 15, 2015


by George Held

A note with a caption "Have a nice day" left on an opening in a pipe by two inmates who escaped Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. (Source: New York Governor's Office)

Why do you always secretly root for the hunted?
Is it American love for the underdog,
your persecution complex, paranoia?

You feel sorry for the hunters, embedded
in uniforms and armed to the teeth
but terrified of ambush or sniper.

Why do you hope that the canniness
of the fox will outwit the nose of bloodhounds
and elude the mechanics and strategy          

of the men encased in uniforms
as they march strung out across a cornfield
in PA or file along a dry creek bed in CA?

You hear the experts on TV call the hunted
“psychopaths” and smugly speculate on whether
they’ll be brought to earth by the hunters

or by their twisted selves. It’s best if they
die in a televised shootout, to save the state
money for a trial and stem viewer sympathy.

And as the camera pans in on the front yard
you feel the sense of doom when the hunted
strolls through the gate in that picket fence

and lives are about to change forever …

George Held, a regular contributor to The New Verse News, has a new book out from Poets Wear Prada, Culling: New & Selected Nature Poems.