Nightstalker - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
That night the sky was still and black,
when I slipped on my shorts
to run my 10 miles out and back.
A constitutional of sorts.
I could not see my own two feet
but knew the road by heart.
I had no previous best to beat
thus slow could be my start.
The mood in the community
was tense since Monday night,
when freedom's opportunity
had changed to shock and fright.
The half-way mark is near the Mill,
a dusty, lonely road.
A killer had performed his kill,
his capture seemed remote.
He'd raped and stabbed the grocer's wife,
there, on a bed of thistles.
Her screams were heard, she was alive
when cops came with their whistles.
From loss of blood and fractured spine
she couldn't quite recover.
When finally they caught the swine
he swore he was her lover.
That night, while thinking of the case
I came upon that mill.
Increased my speed as in a race.
The air was deadly still.
And then, I saw him, stand up straight,
a form- i- dable gray shape.
'Twas getting darker and quite late,
I thought of death and rape.
To break some ice and calm frayed nerves,
I shouted 'Hi there, Sir! ',
he stood quite still - if memory serves.
I only thought of her.
I made another comment now,
although suspicion rose.
There's nothing but a cat's meow,
I shivered and I froze.
While still my energy was up
I planned a quick de-TOUR,
across the ditch into the scrub,
I'd seen the killer - sure!
When suddenly, a movement, slight,
was noticeable - should I jump?
I quickly turned, raced to my right..
that's when I heard the thump.
'My God', I prayed, 'what would it do
if I got killed out here?
I ask just strength and speed of you! '
Now I could smell my fear.
With lightning-like acceleration
I flew off for the trees,
with muscles in fasciculation
and piston-pumping knees.
I then decided to outwit
the mongrel by quick turning
to left, then straight, then double-back.
By now my lungs were burning.
Came very close to where we had
been standing still just now,
when in the darkness - was I mad?
He's there again, but HOW?
In total blackness our vision
is marginal, no doubt.
And my spontaneous decision
was really all about
survival of a runner who
was out for lazy running......
....he was a Daddy Kangaroo,
no killer, cruel and cunning.
I think his view of humans has
now sank to lower ratings.
He likely tells his Roo Mamas
about me during mating.
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