- Collateral Damageby Leineco
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(The Weight of Straws)
Collateral Damage by Leineco

          Have I grown old, lost my spark
          of wanderlust, or fallen prey to nesting
          trend? I used to swim at dusk or dawn
          and never fear the sharks
          might come - used to ski with a
          de vivre that laughed at posted warning
          signs! And, oh, how quick,
          I'd board a midnight red-eye flight
          to parts unknown, on a 'Why not?' whim,
          or intrepidly trek 
          through countries on another shore 
          with not one thought
          of hidden dangers
 skulking there.


          I pull up maps - to check how far
          from friends they were, remember
          times I visited there (or tales regaled
          by friends who did) and wonder if I
          should cross off a city
          a landmark

          a festival
          I've listed on my bucket list...

          Have I grown old, or has the world
          brought fear's inroads to my small town,
          planted seeds that sometime undermine
          and make me wince

          at the thought of church or municipal 
          park or friendly, local grocery store?
          Of surreptitious risks that lurk and peril's
          fatal wildfire spread. They say that wisdom 
          comes with years, but lately it just seems it's tears

          and growing fears
          that threaten to paralyze.


Author Notes

In the confluence of the Vegas shooting, the NYC terrorist attack, the Texas
Church shooting and Molly Fisk's poem "Violence Fractal"......

with the echo of my little sister (who lives in Charlotte, NC) saying, "We've
taken Las Vegas off our dream vacation list" still reverberating......

I realized just how insidious the effects of guerrilla warfare are...and that I,
like so many others, am plagued by outbreaks of collateral damage's festering


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