We Collect in Murders

We collect in murders, spy
the eaves, survey the alleys,

streets, sidewalks. We receive
those who belong, flag those

who don’t. It was only last week
that the mother with the hawkish

nose, the mother with the talon grip,
called her small child. Mittens trailed

by a string from the girl’s sleeves, bright
silver buttons fastened her coat.

“You are so dumb,” the mother called.
“You are so stupid,” the mother called.

The sun glared off the bus they disappeared
into. As its door closed,

the mother did not consider us
collected here: watching, listening.

We who bear witness,
We who never forgive,
We who do not forget.

-Darci Schummer

Darci Schummer is the author of the story collection Six Months in the Midwest (Unsolicited Press, 2014) and co-author of the poetry and prose collection Hinge (broadcraft press, 2015). She teaches writing at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. You can find her at www.darcischummer.com.