“USA Flag 2022: A Long Exposure” © Bonnie Matthews Brock


In The Aftermath

When I travel, my father fears for my life—whether I fly, drive or
          take a train.
He worries I might die on African safari, hiking Mount Fuji, or snowshoeing
in Norway. He’s sure I’ll be attacked by sharks while I swim off
          Shoal Bay,
drown while kayaking Milford Sound.

Yet all I need is to be someone’s aunt shopping for lawn furniture
at Walmart, a sister buying avocados in Stop and Shop, a nineteen
          year old
singing off key at a Taylor Swift concert, someone’s grandmother praying
in synagogue, someone’s brother prostrate in a mosque, a reverend

I could be shot while I pick up impatiens and zinnias at the garden center,
Benadryl at CVS. I could be someone’s mom purchasing a prom dress
at the South Shore Plaza, ordering pizza and sandwiches at Captain’s.

I could be murdered while I walk by the shore in Swampscott, run
for the F train in New York City, go to the doctor’s, the dentist, visit
a sick friend at Mass General, attend a philosophy lecture, admire
art at the MFA, MOMA or Guggenheim, swim at the Y or JCC, buy
lottery tickets at Quick Mart.

I could be someone’s Dad sorting mail at the post office or while nearing
retirement at Verizon. I could be a tourist from Australia, Sweden,
sightseeing in Los Angeles, Seattle, or Philadelphia.

I could be my beloved daughter, a middle school teacher. I could be
my neighbor’s six year old at elementary school or my best friend’s
at daycare. I could be shot while I lounge on my couch eating coffee
          ice cream,
sleep in my bed, or stand
in my own backyard,

               here, anywhere
                  in America.


A lifelong New Englander, Laurie Rosen’s poetry has appeared in The Muddy River Poetry Review; Oddball Magazine; Zig-Zag Lit Mag; Peregrine; New Verse News; Gyroscope Review and elsewhere.

Bonnie Matthews Brock is a Florida-based photographer, as well as school psychologist. She enjoys capturing raw single-capture photos of a wide variety of subjects, and learning and experimenting with shooting techniques such as long-exposure and intentional camera movement, as well as with editing methods. You can find Bonnie’s images on the covers of publications such as Ibbetson Street, Poesy Magazine, and Wild Roof Journal, and on the pages of Oddball Magazine, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Ember Chasm Review, Beaver Magazine, and Unstamatic. Her works are archived at institutions such as Poets House NYC, Brown University, University of Buffalo, and Harvard University.