Damn those little murders,
those small infractions
to which we pay no mind
save for the evidence markers
placed at the foot of the moment
this, here, remember.

Wise or not wise we file them away
in a box called Misdemeanors
until the shelf bends and breaks
and proof bears witness;
only then do we see the trail of blood
from that first red flag
to a catalog of minor injuries
and shallow stab wounds,
enough to leave us only hobbled,
the walking wounded.

In court, they’d present the facts
prove we didn’t plan for this
to any known degree;
a crime of accident and
unintended consequences;
suggest Self-Defense,
and we’d both just nod to agree.

Poem ©2021, Jen Payne.

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