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
it is your own.

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

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