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Saturday, December 07, 2019


by Dawn Corrigan

A sleepy morning in Pensacola
I'm almost an hour late
putting on the coffee
and bringing my husband his pills

he takes the dogs out
and I sit with my laptop
to look at social media
#naspensacola trending

the Naval Air Station
second largest of our area’s
many military bases
six miles south of us

I go out to tell him
four dead, one the shooter
eight others injured
including two sheriffs

we sit on the stoop
drinking our coffee
cloudy and 64 degrees
in Myrtle Grove today

the neighbors’ sycamore
is almost bare
and our walkways are
covered with oak leaves

though just as many
remain in the trees
one of the mysteries
of the heritage oaks

a disembodied male voice
fills the air
it bounces from the trees
reverberates and echoes

we know it’s from NAS
but can’t understand
what it says
then another voice speaks

the friendly female voice
that makes announcements
over the intercom
at Myrtle Grove Elementary

half a block away
we’re been listening to her
for three years
normally she’s calm

and soothing
an intercom champion
but there’s a new edge
in her voice today

“I wanted to let you know
we’re all clear
and you can take your students
out to play.

We’re all clear
and everything’s okay.
We’re all clear!
Everyone have a nice day.”

Dawn Corrigan works in the affordable housing industry in Pensacola, FL and serves as assistant editor at Otis Nebula.