A Mugging
by John Grey

  1. I was headed home on a late Saturday night,
  2. unthinking, reasonably happy, almost
  3. at the front stoop of my apartment building,
  4. when someone grabbed me from behind,
  5. went for my cell phone and wallet.
  1. It all happened so quickly,
  2. my anger wouldn’t hear from my cowardice,
  3. as I wrestled with my unseen assailant,
  4. kicking out, swinging arms,
  5. panting and sweating like a bulldog.
  1. All adrenaline, not thinking,
  2. and with an acute case of “No way Jose”,
  3. I pulled out of his tight grip,
  4. even as my wallet tore in two
  5. spilling notes and coins and credit cards
  6. and my phone smashed against the sidewalk.
  1. It was my shouting that drove him off,
  2. not my fury-pumped strength,
  3. and I turned to see, under the street lamp,
  4. a boy, tall yes, but still a boy,
  5. in t-shirt and jeans,
  6. who stopped for a moment.
  7. turned in my direction,
  8. glared at me in condemnation
  9. for not playing my part in the robbery.
  10. Then he resumed his running,
  11. disappeared into the darkness.
  1. Relieved but still wary,
  2. I climbed the stairs to my apartment,
  3. keeping to the meager shine
  4. from the bare-bulb light,
  5. avoiding each and every shadow,
  6. not wanting any trouble,
  7. not even in my own digs.
Packingtown Review – Vol.13, Spring 2020

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Fall/Lines, The Coe Review, Columbia Review, Cape Rock, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.

  1. Anum Sattar
    Financial Bindpoetry