everyone sat around in the room,
listening to the thunder clap
on a portable stereo
with a plastic handle while
out the window and behind another
turned a very bright light
on and off.
outside, what she saw as stars,
he saw as several low flying planes
while certain people standing around
assumed they were part of some sort of backdrop
from a time when everything seemed irrefutable.
someone named tim was using call waiting
in a small town out there in the wide world
for something other than its intended purpose.
as the sun went down somewhere in arkansas
it came up near one of the washingtons,
and everyone assumed the strength of a mother whose child was in danger
because that is exactly what they were.