In the cold January air flame and smoke disappear
but the sound goes on forever.
The pistol crack; the victim’s gasp,
dead before his wide-eyed head smashes against the pavement;
the screams of the passers-by;
the shouting policemen holding them back;
the wailing ambulance;
the knock, apologetic, on the door;
the crying, desperate,
left without a husband and father;
the monotone of the priest;
the 12 clicking heels take the coffin;
the sobs of the veiled
and the final, definite scraping of soil,
thrown from shovel to grave.
The shot was still ringing out.