Night of the Living Dead, End Credits
My dad claimed Night of the Living Dead
his favorite horror movie, recalled seeing it
surrounded by people gagging and heaving
when zombies gnawed legs like chicken bones.
A boy, I watched it with him late night,
laughed when the man in Buddy Holly glasses teased,
They’re coming to get you, Barbara.
I cringed at her high-pitched shrieks.
My Dad never commented on the ending,
that final pop of gunfire,
the thud of Ben’s body
crashing on the porch, bullet in his forehead,
the credits images of rednecks burning his body
like clansmen, that rural Pennsylvania town
no different than Jim Crow South.
I thought of exhaust-spewing pick-ups,
Confederate flags on bumpers, tires kicking dust
on dirt roads where I rode my bike.
I know what my Dad would have done in that movie--
grabbed a rifle, joined Ben,
but what would our neighbors have done
if they encountered someone like Ben?
About the Author: Brian Fanelli’s most recent book is Waiting for the Dead to Speak (NYQ Books). He is also the author of the full-length All That Remains (Unbound Content) and the chapbook Front Man (Big Table Publishing). His poetry, essays, and book reviews have been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, Verse Daily, The Paterson Literary Review, Main Street Rag, and elsewhere. He has an M.F.A. from Wilkes University and a Ph.D. from SUNY Binghamton. Currently, he teaches at Lackawanna College.