Friday, April 4, 2014

Crime and Poetry with the 5-2

April is National Poetry Month and Gerald So over at The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly blog is putting on a blog tour to highlight the poems that he's published online from the last year. You may think that crime and poetry don't mix, but this poem and Gerald's site will change your mind. 

The poem that I would like to highlight is Tiffany Washington's "Day 7". It's a haunting poem about life and loss. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I first read the work. 

DAY 7 by Tiffany Washington

You had been running for six days
when they called - you were considered missing.

My mind raced to that kitten
we rescued one soaked Sunday in October.

We chased it through fresh puddles;
Though I feared death under quick tires.

Our option: Trap it between an open gate
and your crisp Timberlands.

Solitary. Soaking. Shivering.
Its ebony coat matted to tiny bones.
We drove it to Judy's for safe-keeping.

Years later, when the police called, chasing you—
my only thoughts: a skinny black cat

and our desire to bring it home.

Here's audio of author Tiffany Washington reading her poem:

Tiffany confesses: "This poem was inspired by two instances in my work with 'at-risk' youth as a teacher and a mentor. The title comes from a student who talked about loss not hitting the initial day of the tragedy, but how it hits much later. She spoke about missing a friend, seven days later, and how no one else seemed to notice he was gone. And in the second instance, a young girl I mentored ran away from DCF custody not long after she and I rescued a cat."

TIFFANY WASHINGTON teaches English in Hartford and is the new mother of two energetic, entertaining boys. Occasionally, she writes. Her work has appeared in CaduceusLong Run Review, and Artis.

To support poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry, Gerald So is donating all April revenue from 5-2 and Lineup books 
and merchandise to the nonprofit Academy of American Poets.

This past summer, Gerald participated in our Summer Reads with Drinks Series. You can read Gerald So's review of Ace Atkins' novel THE RANGER and see his recipe for Smooth Sweet Tea here


  1. The poem is very haunting. It says so much in just a few lines.

  2. I love this poem. Thank you for sharing it.