This is a picture I did not take

of a breaking news story, replete with camera trucks & satellite dishes mushrooming into the sky, reporters in suits doing camera-checks ready-to-go Live at 5, while just past & down the block I sit in my car, hemmed-in by others leaving work & driving home, all sitting in cars, when a series of shots ring out, probably fifteen to twenty -- and by "shots ring out" I mean a sound that was close enough that the hair on your arms stood up, but far enough away you knew you'd be okay, unless this was a mass shooter who started running & spraying in all directions, and even though you're hemmed-in, you can't help but gape when the missed picture comes into view: a gaggle of women, all office workers, all hurrying together carrying purses and pocketbooks and bags, folders, boxes of documents, all of them running, none of them in running shoes, some of them yelping more than screaming as they ran away from the gunfire, and as I watched, I waited for the slightest smile, searching their faces for a glimmer revealing a practical joke gone wrong -- while behind them, around the corner, less than a hundred yards away, two policemen had shot and killed a woman in their custody, a woman who apparently slipped her cuffs, somehow got a hold of a gun in the backseat of a cop car and began shooting, starting this whole scene in motion: office women fleeing, the reporters down the block with their ears to the wind, my windshield the only thing between me and the scared faces of the office workers as I watched, waiting and hoping for a laugh that never came.