More common than a hurricane or blizzard,
a few times each year a convict would wander
from the prison that crowned a nearby ridge.
And in the days that followed, we’d be walked
to our bus stop, doors and windows would be locked
at night–just an ounce more of prevention,
routines only slightly shifted until
the danger was subdued in some hayloft,
or the dogs had circled an abandoned camp.
Until then, the news anchor would warn us
to watch out for the suspect, to be alert
and exercise common sense and caution,
and to look out for our neighbours, as if
the desperate presence that wound its way
along the windbreaks and ditches, and raced
across our moonlit fields was little more
than a stretch of rain, or a hard frost
determined to devastate our harvest.