A poem by Fred Pollack

When, after years or decades, the detectives
corner the bull-necked abuser and recite
what he did, he snarls, “Shut up. Shut up!”
as if he could demoralize them like
his daughter. Though the poisoner-CEO

tells his assistant to call his lawyer,
we can see from his face he’s doomed;
if it’s near the end of the show,
he confesses. The assiduous hero
gets in some cold remark. But in the world,

detectives are elsewhere. Cops mince
along a line of kneeling demonstrators,
macing them; the latter, their youth fulfilled,
disperse. Abusers and their large adoring
families advance with chants and crosses

upon health clinics. All faith is abuse. At
rallies, people in fortunate sections
where protesters appear surge forth
to prove again the guilt of the victim.
If fools were passive we could work around them.

Frederick Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness (available from Story Line Press), and a collection, A Poverty of Words (available from Prolific Press). Another collection, Landscape with Mutant, will be published in 2018 by Smokestack Books (UK). He has many other poems featured in print and online journals.

Pollack is an adjunct professor of creative writing at George Washington University.


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