And shirtless boys fire rocks with rackets
from the lawn next door. Ping and twang,
then sounds of invisible tunnels torn
through the canopy of indifferent oaks.
Perhaps it was them I saw, the scoundrels,
casting their lures in the middle of February,
hoping to snag the swans parked at the rim
of the flooded bog's unfreezing pupil.
He shot his family with a twenty-two
not long after debarking the bus from school,
the quiet campus photographer, always
in the dark room, it was said, waiting
for the images he'd abducted from the world
to unfurl in shallow toxic pans.
By Ralph Sneeden