Scott Davidson grew up in Montana, worked for the Montana Arts Council as a Poet in the Schools, and – after most of two decades in Seattle – lives with his wife in Missoula. His poems have appeared in Southwest Review, Bright Bones: Contemporary Montana Writing, Potomac Review, Terrain. org, Poets/Painters/ Composers, and the Permanent Press anthology, Crossing the River: Poets of the Western United States.
We Can Never Take This Back
Ugliness swept through town like a squall –
busting out windows, trampling part-timers,
sucker punching neighbors for the very last one.
All it took for someone to die in the service
of shopping was someone to fall. When we
rise in the dark to wait in line for the smart
phone that makes us beautiful, we’re complicit
in trampling a seasonal cashier. Stop-action, slow
motion, arms swimming, desperate for something
to stop him dying in the name of what’s been
marked down to nothing. Here is footage of our species
at its worst, at peace with killing as long as we’re
blamelessly swept up by crowds. We steal the only
important thing from a man coming to unlock the doors.
Blocking the way to the world we’ve made, it was easy
for him to fall from our grace. Unlike stampeders who moved
on with shopping, he had the time he was falling to grieve
for his life, for all that might have saddened and cheered him.
© 2018 Scott Davidson