What bothers me the most is that he kept Tim for six days. Every time I dream of Tim, I can’t sleep the rest of the night. -Barry King, victim’s father
Among cardboard boxes stacked in a dark basement room of infiltratable walls, we were sure that child-smothering tramps parked their 1970s muttonchops and blue Gremlins, their suburban camouflage to replace bindles and porkpie hats, their cans of beans and Sterno.
In vivid minds saddled with set bedtimes, it’s quite easy Now I lay me down to sleep to envision disturbed Vietnam vets I pray the Lord my soulto keep in the bushes outside, If I die before I wake listening at the window I pray the Lord my soul to take, awaiting permission.
Every new snow brought fresh pants-wetting treks to the bus stop, escorted only by bag lunches and newspaper alarms. Everyone’s first-grade academic majors were avoiding stranger danger and spotting phantoms. We still avoid transients, nightly prayers and hatchbacks, a bogeyman cocktail.
-- John F. Buckley lives in Orange County, California. His work has been published in a number of places, one of which nominated him for a Pushcart Prize in 2009. His chapbook Breach Birth was published by Propaganda Press in March, 2011.