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Tuesday, January 04, 2022


by stella graham-landau

we did not learn 
at the police academy
how to handle traffic leaving costco
while navigating people running in the street carrying pet cats
when the world is burning before our eyes

nor was there a module in crime prevention on 
how to tell the difference between a masked customer
or a masked bandit
and how to stay healthy in either case

in crime scene management
we were only taught a prayer
to deal with multiple mass shooters in a mall
“you better pray that it’s just one shooter and that their gun jams”

on a regular december day in boulder 
with no snow on the ground
an ordinary man
on an ordinary task to buy soup for his sick wife 
knew how bad things were

not from the dense smoke blocking the sky
nor the galloping customers racing to their cars
not even the screams of children being dragged to safety

but the face of the police officer
directing traffic
with fear in his eyes

stella graham-landau is an artist and writer living in richmond, va. she is vaccinated, boosted, masked, and insistently optimistic that we will emerge as better, kinder citizens of the global village.