for Bernard Randolph

I heard through
the evening news
rumor mill

tell about
a ballpeen hammer
and the top of your head.

You missed him
out of the corner
of your eye

boarding the damn bus


some nut wielding
a dangerous weapon
rears back
and splits in half
the firewood
of your brain.

Crazy bastard
kills your bad luck
even badder.

why didn’t you duck?
an athlete like you
ought to have better reflexes

Hell, you played
major college ball

You should have patented
that sideways
down-the-baseline move

playing coy,
loitering in that corner

for some reason
that dumb head fake
they knew was coming

three steps acrest,
body twisting in mid-air
to bank home
the rock

that some Joe
for your cranium.