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After Another School Shooting, I Drive the Back Roads of New Hampshire

Deborah Murphy

Late June fields greening
under a mottled sky.
An oriole slashes orange
against a shingled Cape Cod.

Beyond the stone wall,
a peeling wooden shed:
two dusty lambs pause
by an overturned pail.

Soon the wild blueberries
should ripen. The Black-eyed
Susans may bloom. Soon
apple trees and frost

in the hollows. The road silent
and long. I stop at the edge
of the Souhegan and drop
flat stones into the river,

litany for the dead.
Soon I will turn back,
head for home,
where waiting for me
is laundry to fold, dinner to make,
my son to console.

Deborah Murphy is a poet. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Border Crossing, The Mud Chronicles: A New England Anthology, Adanna Literary Journal (print version), and other journals. Holding a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA from Tufts University, she lives in Amherst, NH, where she is an editor at Smoky Quartz literary journal.