Compulsion

September 29, 1990|By Anne E. Frazier

She knows it isn't ladylike to stare

At all the people waiting over there,

Some of them crying, some just standing 'round

Another who is lying on the ground,

Who may be merely hurt, or may be dead.

Nor is it ladylike to watch the spread

that dark liquid oozing toward the ditch

From underneath the upturned auto which

Looks like some modern sculpture or a beer

Can crushed once it's been emptied. She can hear

The sirens screaming swiftly to the site.

Although she doesn't think it is polite,

She watches. Now she feels the pulsing throb

helicopter blades. She'd like a job

With the police so she herself could drop

Out of the line of cars, pull over, stop,

All in the line of duty as it were,

A licit and legitimate voyeur.

The backed-up traffic slowly inches by

On the far shoulder, gives her a chance to try

For one last, hasty, thirsty look before

She's civilized and ladylike once more.

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