by David Ackley
It's over when this dull-eyed part-time cop waves us past
the mall gate, the skewed Toyota SUV, another cop with tape,
a smoking EMT, and something under a draped white sheet.
These skimmed fates of others slip by fast.
No one means to go that way, on an errand to the mall,
saving a minute for shopping, something that banal,
audited by strangers passing, barely slowing, glancing.
Time's never saved, whatever we meant.
Do with them or don't, all our minutes get spent.
All rights reserved.
This owes --not enough--to the influence of Phillip Larkin, especially "Ambulances," one of the great poems of the 20th century.