Wednesday, August 07, 2019

John Kaprielian: SUMMER OF '77

I remember that summer
when we were so careful
watching every car wondering
if it was him, waiting to
hear who the next victim
would be or what note he
might leave for the police.
It had gone on so long
since last fall and now it was
the heat of the July and
he was still out there.
Everyone was nervous
I was 13 and terrified
my cousins lived in Queens
and we were not far from the
city line so we didn't feel
safe either in that awful
sweltering summer of
murder arson and despair
when the City had turned to
shit and there was graffiti
everywhere and in the
middle of that

the lights went out
25 hours without power a
dirty hot sweaty night people
in the streets singing, helping,
looting, hooting, dancing
sharing, shouting

but come daybreak
the City hadn't burned down
and the Son of Sam didn't
kill anyone that night.
The power came back on
and we knew that if we could
live through that we could get
that bastard and in less than
a month he was behind bars
and everyone could relax again.

John Kaprielian

This poem appeared in the The 5-2, which publishes poems about crime.

No comments: