This Is Not A Test

This Is Not A Test

It’s Tuesday, noon,

and I am not

listening to the

wailing siren

echo off the walls

and windows.

The emergency

is now and has been

for quite some time.

Noon on Tuesday

and I am thinking about

the workplace shooting

some years back,

how the emergency

pronouncement to

shelter indoors

until further notice

had a special

hollow echo

across the street

in the tents

of the homeless

men and women

with no doors

to close against

the elements

or the violence


and counting the hours

until the emergency

is over

so we can hear

what an all clear

would sound like.