A shock of chestnut hair
covers dark eyes that thrive
on the promise of struggle.
You disguise us as infidels
twining your hatred
into pressure cookers.
Spent bombs blow cities into lockdowns
and hearts harden against you.

We seek shelter within the confines
of televised reports.
Heat signatures beam up human forms
from backyard boats,
shipped to our living rooms.
We see Big Brother’s vision
land on our TVs.
Our government,
able to lock down Boston in short order
possesses tremendous power.
Homeland Security feeds the beast.

(An ordinary American sees something awry on
his boat, checks it out-finds reason to
dial 911.)

A culprit, apprehended.


Dark eyes open in a hospital room
and we wait.

Brenda Warren 2013

This one is for The Sunday Whirl.


28 thoughts on “Caught

  1. It was certainly difficult not to be reactive. Sadly it is a world that we have been a party to in it’s making. Somehow we must fix it not fight it. Your writing however is telling but balanced.


  2. I know the words are going to take everyone to Boston so I tried not to go there specifically and focused instead on jihadists everywhere. It felt good to write the poem. Cathartic. It was hard to make it rhyme yet that is what called out to me. I applaud your braveness at posting these particular words. They speak mountains.


  3. This feels too familiar Brenda. The comfort of televised reports in the times of anger, or worry as a maniac goes about trying to make our lives more sorrowful than they already are.


  4. That last verse left me breathless..sadly i don’t think catching one or two ‘offenders’ makes us you perhaps infer we need to react locally and appropriately..maybe if everyone in a community feels they belong and that they are safe such acts of desperation may decline? But that’s easy for me to say in rural Devon..where gun crime is not a reality..


    • Solutions are hard to come by– it starts with discussion, for sure. Motivation is a hard thing to pin down, but certainly feelings of belonging/acceptance can promote tolerance. Thank you for your thoughtful response.


    • Thanks, Elizabeth. I reread my piece thinking of it as a recitation of facts, and can see that. What we don’t know yet, though, is the young men’s motivation. They may not have seen us as “infidels,” that was poetic license, and needing to place the word. Hopefully, the young man will be able to communicate their ideas.

      I hope for healing for those more directly involved, too. Pretty darn cool that Neil Diamond sang Sweet Caroline at Fenway Park yesterday.


  5. Yes agree with Jules a powerful write – I cannot help but thinking that given the consideration of the potentiality of such completely in-sane actions we live so peacefully on a daily basis.


  6. The good news is the breaking one, that now it is safe to be out!! But will this madness ever cease??
    As memories heal and teardrops cease, the ugly hood of the deadly snake rises again!! Heart goes out to the people of Boston from a heart in Mumbai, as we too have experienced this several times over!!


  7. Last night at dinner with friends, the conversation was dark for a while, fearing more of the same kind of news, wondering what sort of world our grandchildren would inherit. Your poem represents that same shock and fear which must be fairly universal in the so-called civilised world.


  8. The waiting …Listening to news programs discussing actions and inaction. And those eyes that will never wake again.

    How each of us deals and copes attempting to imagine reasons. Powerful write.
    Thanks for your visits.


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