Today’s post is the twentieth and last post in the post series: poems with explanations.
Hopefully readers have enjoyed the series. Hopefully all of the poems were enjoyable to read by themselves, but also, hopefully, the explanations expanded their value. Hopefully readers learned more about poetry through the series.
If you liked the series and like poems with explanations in general, then please consider purchasing a copy of M. Sakran’s self-published eBook, Understanding: poems with explanations. The eBook is a collection of twenty original poems, with explanations of each of them. It is available for a price of $0.99. It can also be purchased with currencies besides the U.S. dollar (see near the bottom of the post, Post Series: Poems with Explanations: Obstruction, for a list of usable currencies and links). Again, if you liked the series and like poems with explanations in general, then please consider purchasing a copy.
The last poem and explanation of the series is below.
No, you see
What’s the matter?
Alright, take a rest.
Left over middle.
Right over middle.
Left over middle.
Right over middle.
Picking up one.
Picking up two.
Oh, nothing, you see …
No, wait, you don’t understand.
No, you see there,
One, two, three.
This poem is about someone getting shot and killed. There are three beings in the poem: the person who is shot (the shootee), the shootee’s dog, and the shooter. The poem begins with the shootee walking their dog and coming in front of the shooter’s house. This poem is about misunderstanding and overreaction.
In the first line of the poem, the shootee asks their dog What’s the matter?. The dog has stopped walking and is panting by the side of the street. It is early morning.
In the second line of the poem, the shootee realizes that their dog is tired and asks their dog a rhetorical question about it.
In the third line, the shootee tells their dog to take a rest. Where the person is walking, there are ditches in front of the homes. In this line of the poem, as the shootee lets go of the leash and stands by the side of the road, the dog walks down into the ditch and lays down.
The next ten lines are indented. These lines describe what the shootee does while their dog rests. At first the shootee just stands. The dog is resting for a while and the standing feels like it goes on. The shootee’s legs get a little tired and so they crouch down. They find some pine needles and start braiding them together. They then stop this, and pick up a couple of pebbles and move them in their fingers. After this, the shootee stands up again.
When the shootee stands, the homeowner comes out of their house. The shootee says, Hi. The homeowner (the shooter) is upset that someone has been standing in front of their house and asks angrily, “What are you doing here?”
The shootee is taken aback by this question and emotion and responds, “Hmm?”
The shooter then asks the question again, as they move closer and more angrily toward the shootee.
The shootee realizes the misunderstanding. They realize that the shooter can only see them and not the dog, because the dog is in a ditch. They understand the concern of the shooter. They try to clear things up and explain by starting “Oh, nothing, you see …”
The shooter interrupts the shootee. The shooter yells to the shootee to get away from the house. The shooter moves closer and more angrily.
The shootee tries to explain again.
The shooter then repeats the demand that the shootee get away from the house.
The shootee tries to explain again. As they do, they motion with their arm at the dog in the ditch.
When the shooter sees the shootee’s arm move, they assume the shootee is going to do something violent. The shooter pulls out a gun and shoots the shootee.
The shootee hears three shots.
The shootee tries to explain as they die.
This poem is about a misunderstanding and overreaction that led to a shooting and killing.
The shootee in the poem was innocent. In some sense, they made the mistake of loitering outside of someone’s home, but they had no criminal intent.
The shooter in the situation, was not really bad, but simply saw someone standing and waiting too long outside of their house. The shooter never saw the shootee’s dog, which was in a ditch. They felt threatened by the situation and even more threatened when they confronted the shootee and the shootee did not immediately leave.
This poem that is about a simple situation that escalated and went in the wrong direction.
One interesting aspect of this poem, in terms of its presentation, is that there is only one focus. In the poem, the dog’s actions are not written out. Also, the voice of the shooter is not directly articulated. Only the words, and with one exception, only the actions of the shootee are shown. The exception is the three gun shots. These are articulated by the count in the poem.
In terms of form, in the poem, actions are indented two spaces (the actions of the person as they wait for their dog, and the gun shots). Also, the last line ends abruptly, even without ellipses, to signify the shootee died.