Ted Lord
After School on a Thursday

We shot
in their minks
with our pop guns
as they crossed Fifth Avenue.
They would crumple in,
that most natural reaction,
shoulder bags flying
dark glasses falling
black gloves
fluttering down
as whatever quick prayer
they could utter ascended.
Fifth graders,
huffing the shadow
of a brownstone stoop,
puffed up and so
proud with wrong.
A hundred anvils falling.
45 tanks running over Mr. McGoo.
What were seven more shots
after school on a Thursday?
What could we have been
seeking in matrons, ridiculed?
Five white boys
in their private school blazers
filled with what need?
What want
cartoons a world where
old ladies get run down for amusement?

© 1995 by Ted Lord

Ted Lord is executive director of the Pride Foundation, which works to strengthen lesbian and gay communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. His poetry has appeared in such literary journals as Kansas Quarterly, Nimrod, and Sycamore Review.