Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five

May Day 1992


This week --

The neighbor boy forgot to cut the grass.

The lawn remembered that it was a field

And rioted in flowers -- an uprising.

Dandelions, shocking yellow, exploded into seed

White six-pointed stars burst on slender stalks

Harebells hung out, blue and white, tossed up

Overnight from clumps of mock crabgrass

And purple violets gathered under dogwoods --

All reaching toward the democratic sun

Celebrating blessed reprieve

From the inexorable (almost) mower.

And I'm relieved, I guess, to be alive myself,

A continent and then some from LA --

From California where the people live

with earthquake and mere human scale

Brutality can go unnoticed, almost.

But winds are westerly and fear blows in

Along with crazy "Wayne's World." It creeps

Underground through tangled roots and cable -- bursts

unexpected colors in the damnedest

Places. I don't feel cold when the blue and white

Patrol car passes -- No cop is going

beat me up, no matter what I've had

To drink -- but the battered old brown Chevy

Slowing . . . just outside my driveway

The sound is like a shadow -- whose?

That mower will be along. The rowdy flowers

Have had their day for now and will give way

To level lawn. But what of us? The news

Is: We've grown too thinly tall and separate --

I, exposed and white in this not neutral place

And he, dark out there and choked with inward

Turning rage -- invalidated.

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