Friday, June 24, 2016

298 Today - A Poem about Gun Violence

298 Today*

By Leah D. Schade

Hot grey seed
shot into pliant flesh
yields a ruby bud
blossoming into red petals.
Is this our harvest?
A crop of stilled hearts.

To hold the metal of judgment
in one’s hands;
To learn the intricacies
of the mechanisms
that finally come down to your finger
folding around this smooth curve.

It is weakness ashamed
of its ineptitude
that thrills in throwing a stone
faster than God can blink.

It is the coward’s way
to end a conversation
with your own humanity.

This machine-with-one-purpose
is the lie we have told ourselves
to compensate for our fear.

The stronger way is to pierce
one's own soul with a shard
from the mirror that shattered
upon Abel’s impact.

The more courageous way
is to confront that stained reflection
and weep the tears
that may yet loosen the long-dried layers of loathing.

The truth lies somewhere
in the distance between
your curving finger
and the flesh of the body you are about to fell
forgetting
it is your own.


* 298 is the number of people shot in America every day.


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