Our Children

Image courtesy of Slate.com

I wrote this in response to seeing the protests organized by the students who survived the Parkland shooting. I was hopeful that their anger focused in this positive way would bring about some positive change. But today, with 19 elementary school students and 2 adults now dead in Uvalde, Texas, I felt it might be time to revisit this in tribute to the students who have lost their lives in these continual senseless acts of gun violence. We must all say, “No more.”

Innocence, a fairytale idea,
Sacrificed along with safety-
Burned as sweet, bloody incense
On an altar to the Second
Unrestrained, unrestricted
The true worship contained
In this strange amalgam
of green and gold,
Gunpowder, lead, and power
Causing some confusion
In steel tongues touting
The sanctity of life
And rights to any guns in prayers.

Our children, now are
Born in a skin of fear,
And do what we have not—
Stand up and say
No more.

Birds Fall Silent

I tear the trailing ivy
From the trunk of the crepe myrtle tree,
A routine autumnal yard task,
Look up to a partly cloudy Texas sky,
Think of madmen and bombs,
A madman and eleven shot dead
As they prayed in Shabbat—
No words, no words come
Even the birds fall silent.

Our Children

Innocence, a fairytale idea,
Sacrificed along with safety
Burned as sweet, bloody incense
On an altar to the Second
Unrestrained, unrestricted
The true worship contained
In this strange amalgam of green and gold,
Gunpowder, lead, and power
Causing some confusion
In steel tongues touting
The sanctity of life
And rights to any guns
in prayers.

Our children born in a skin of fear
Do what we have not
Stand up
And say no more.