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Wednesday, August 17, 2016


by Sarah Russell

Left: Four policemen in Rome cooked pasta for an elderly couple after their loneliness and television news caused them such distress they were overheard crying. —The Independent, August 8, 2016. Right: Mary Knowlton, 73, holds a fake blue training firearm prior to a Punta Gorda (FL) Citizen Police Academy role-playing exercise during which she was shot and killed by K-9 Officer Lee Coel. Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis said authorities were “unaware” that live ammunition was available during the exercise. Photo source: Sue Paquin/Charlotte Sun via Wink News, August 10, 2016.

      "'Sometimes the loneliness melts into tears...'
say the Rome police in a statement.”
The Independent, August 8, 2016.

Italian police still use metaphors in their reports.
In Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago, guys with guns
(or not) scare the tropes out of cops, make voices
strident in the no man's land of barred windows,
triple locked doors.  A librarian in Punta Gorda
volunteers to play the law in a “shoot/don't shoot”
like on TV, but the bullets aren't a simile.  In Italy,
the police make old folks pasta with cheese and butter,
sustenance assuaging isolation.  In Punta Gorda
the trope gets tangled, like on the streets
in the allegory of black and white.

Sarah Russell has returned to poetry after a career teaching, writing and editing academic prose. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Kentucky Review, Red River Review, Misfit Magazine, The Houseboat, and Shot Glass Journal, among others. Her poem “Denouement” won the monthly Goodreads poetry contest.