Treasure Island

John F. McCullagh

(09/28/1954 / Flushing)

Shots Fired


“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.

Submitted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A fictional recounting of the events at the Washington D.C. navy Yard on 09/17/2013

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