Switch - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
They found the body at the quarry's gate.
The watchman had not seen what would have raised
his ex-policeman's trained and sordid brain.
He'd watched TV and some old Angus cattle
up on the range beyond the quarry's metal crane.
The shot was audible and made him sit up straight.
Perhaps a motorcar with pistons overglazed,
he phoned the Sheriff then who told him there to wait
and not to touch a thing as it was now the lawman's private battle.
So he complied, stood guard close to the corpse.
Smoked Camel filters and observed all the details,
and wondered why some fabric on these bodies may absorb
a lot of blood that blubbered out from the entrails.
When suddenly he felt a breeze behind him,
he whirled on instinct, saw a fleeing shadow.
And, now forgetting his distinct instructions
takes after him with pistol out of holster.
His lungs have suffered over years from heavy smoking,
the culprit leads, is crossing the south meadow,
so not to lose him he decides to shoot a warning
in the direction of the runner here this morning.
Three-fifty-seven is a decent, proper shell
to get respect wherever you may go..
Just point the gun no need to aim too well,
he pulls the trigger, echo's kinda slow.
And down he tumbles, with giant bleeders seen,
from his occipital bone admixed with grayish goo,
and half his jaw's been blown to smithereens,
he's stiff and truly dead, and turning blue.
The guard now picks him up, throws up him on his shoulder,
and hauls him back to where the other body sleeps
a quick manoeuvre with the guns and fingerprints,
then he has done what will confuse them all for keeps.
A battle must have been the reason for the killings
between the two who rest here in the dirt.
The guard plays witness gets rewarded and is willing
to sell his story to the tabloids word for word.
That night the guard drives home from the old quarry,
is holding in his nervous, sweaty little hands,
a bag of gold coins, nuggets - it's a quarry -
and some banknotes held tight together by pink bands.
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