Blood on the Street
The traffic backed up beyond
The intersection for five cars or more
In all directions, they were halted
The crowd standing there
Had found some reason to stare.
A circle had been formed
And newly arrivals were added to the throng
Each trying to see
What was the cause of the melee.
A pedestrian struck,
A biker down
Or perhaps some poor soul
Was dead; on the ground?
What happened all wanted to know
As they watched and waited for an emergency vehicle
Or a truck to tow
Maybe an officer to arrive at the scene
To help the victim unseen.
But yet as even more arrived,
There seemed to be no answer
To the questions voiced
By those that now became anxious
To see the problem resolved.
After all, the traffic was now jammed
Like never before.
Even an emergency vehicle would not be able
To reach the scene to provide assistance.
Finally some thinking citizen
Accepted responsibility and control
And began to usher cars along the road
Until finally only a single car remained
Standing in the right turn lane.
And the driver who was the cause
Stood there perplexed as before
For no solution had yet been given
On how to get his car moving.
The officer arriving late on the scene
Wanted an answer to the reason for the que
Saw the blood on the car's passenger door
And the drivers bloody hand and more.
There, he's under there
Was the frustrated answer to the official stare
Oh, God. He's run over someone
And drug them to their death.
A lifeless body would be all that's left.
On hands and knees he bowed to see
What was the remainder of what he
Had done with this low slung Japanese product.
One who was surely out of luck.
I see nothing, was the officers reply
There's no body that I can spy
But please, he's under there
For surely you must care!
And slowly the story was told
How the driver wanting to be sure
That a turtle was safe and,
Not to be run over for sure.
He'd stopped the car when he saw the turtle
By the side of the road,
Sure that if it attempted to cross
It'd be squashed like a toad.
Was going to pick up the turtle
And save its life
But when he'd attempted to pick it up
It had lashed out and given him a nasty bite
Then as he looked
At his bleeding hand
It had crawled underneath his car
Where it had taken a stand.
Refused to come out
And with quick motion
Would attack an offered hand
He was not going to risk it again.
The blood was his own that flowed that day
Until the officer sent him on his way
While the alligator snapping turtle
Did what turtles do
Crawled out from under the car
And walked away.
On watching a 'problem' develop when a good citizen tried to be a humanitarian and paid the price.
Comments about this poem (Blood on the Street by Sidi J. Mahtrow )
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