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.