BY MATT W. MILLER
You hear your son—your first grader
who will help a classmate put on her coat
and not yet be troubled by the teasing
of other boys, who’s so afraid of ghosts
he needs his sister’s jokes so not to quail
at Casper, who still labializes all his r’s,
who has eyelashes of upswept gossamer—
as he plays with his plastic dinosaurs
in the back of your pick up, wail a siren
sound over and over. And it is this noise
that nudges you from a din of sports radio
to ask him what game he is playing.
He tells you he’s playing Lockdown.
Your ribs heave with a sudden breath,
fissures tear across your chest, as if ripping
out a line of stitches. We practice at school,
he says. When you ask him if it’s scary
he says, No, but it can be uncomfortable
when we all have to crouch in that dark
corner. The teacher puts colored paper
on the door window, he says. You ask why.
So the robber in the hall cannot see inside.