Some People Just Aren’t Meant To Be Reporters

Photograph: Sharron R. McMillan

Photograph: Sharron R. McMillan

I see yellow ribbon stretched across the road, cordoning off a small house half a block from the police station. Three officers huddle in a group on the front lawn.
“What happened?” I ask an official looking man standing next to his van,
cameras, attaché cases strewn on the seat.
“Oh, an incident,” he cautiously answers, pointing to an officer walking toward us, “you better ask him.”
“What happened?” I repeat my question to the young officer.
“We can’t say right now. Where do you live?” feeling defensive, I mumble something and walk away. My reporter eyes take it all in but my sixth sense knows more than I see.
“Must be a murder,” my astute husband mirrors my thoughts exactly.
I imagine a person lying dead somewhere enclosed by yellow ribbons. I wonder who it is, who their family are, who will break the news to them, how will it be explained. I wonder who the murderer is, who their family is, their mother, does she know she gave life to someone so violent? What will become of her and her family.
Looking up the phone number for the CBC when I get home, thinking about our once quiet peaceful community and wondering how so much pain could happen here, I weep about this ‘incident.’ Someone’s life has ended and many people will be torn with grief. Some things we have taken for granted were snatched from all of us today.  I can not report this to the world. It seems inhumane to do so.
I wouldn’t want to hear of the death of someone I love broadcast without emotion as I drove home from work. I wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for causing more grief to those who soon will be drowning in it.
It’s time to give up my community correspondent honour and stick to writing poems.

©1995 Sharron R. McMillan

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