John F. McCullagh (09/28/1954 / Flushing)
“Shots Fired.” “Officer Down”
The Navy Yard is a killing ground.
High above the Atrium floor,
The first person shooter
wants to run up his score.
I enter the atrium and dive for the wall
as singing death pays my partner a call.
“Officer down, building 197”
He’s a lucky one, his Kevlar vest saved him.
I crawl on my belly towards the stairs.
Will he add to his total ere I make it there?
I pass the corpse of a pretty girl,
with a puzzled look upon her face.
A red rose blooms from her white blouse.
Fear flees as anger takes its place.
The swat team enters and exchanges fire.
I make the stairwell and start creeping higher.
I remove my shoes and in stocking feet
I silently climb toward the deadly sounds
I stumble upon a security guard
Who nevermore will make his rounds.
What happened next, I’ll always remember
about this deadly dark September.
A deep breath to calm me,
I chambered a round.
Was it my shot that brought
the mad murderer down?
There were many shots fired
That terrible day
As hunter, become hunted,
was brought to bay.
I checked on my partner.
I called my wife.
I am more than happy to get on with life.
The shooter is on the coroner’s table.
I write up the incident as best as I’m able.
I left out the part about the girl
Who has gone, we hope, to a better world.
She gave me courage, she banished fear
She is probably the reason that I’m still here.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Shots Fired by John F. McCullagh )
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