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stop saying guns are okay


you are scaring me
guns are frightening
guns are a threat
guns are adolescent yahoos
killing kangaroos at night
in dizzying lights of a forest

guns are not careful
they might get me
on accident

guns are Tom Sawyer
breath held
in the bushes
between the Hatfields and McCoys
guns are all the people
stupider and less careful than me
hurting me by mistake
a gruesome surprise
a banana peel
and a broken hip
not just death
but that it will
come unexpectedly
with no time for good-byes

guns are anger
they are psychotic
they are us
the working class
sitting in factories
hovering over objects
turning them to evil
under pressure of starvation

guns are evil people
or the careless rich
Daisy Buchanon
worse, Tom
who could sit there and
mold something
for destruction
then retreat to
tea in their mansions
in their neighborhoods
with private roads
and throw these objects
into our universe
like an SUV in a hit-and-run

I am afraid
choke in my throat
it is not funny
it is not just
a philosophical argument
it is not justice
not needed

you are scaring me
threatening me
and there is no love in your
only this sarcasm of
Boss Hog
cartoon Mayor
from the old south
with white hat
running whiskey
your purpose is to stop
cars in the night
pull people out at gunpoint
and bury them in piles of dust


I wanted to kill once
I wanted to kill twice
thank God I didn’t have a gun

will people have guns when they have
because you are sometimes suicidal
and often quite angry
will writers have guns?
because all artists go through
this process
this manic
birthing process of
sometimes they drink it away
you hope they write
you don’t hope they have a gun at
the low point

there would be no bells
there would be no french poetry
(pretty poetry, but, people had to
slowly endure pain
in order to get there)

would pregnant women have guns?
because I hear that you ask for
call your husband
dirty names
maybe you would shoot him


which reminds me,
the Goddess,
no, not her really,
this is about peace and hate
in front of the old boxwoods at school
in front of
the boxwoods so I should have remembered

Betsy was pushed
I saw my little disabled girl
pushed roughly by a
I witnessed
my seven-year-old-fragile-
whom-I-love Betsy
pushed by a big kid off the
high stone porch
and really
I saw his face at the moment
it was a grimace
a smile
a purposeful
and my heart
and I knew what I saw in his face
was intent
and I yelled
more than that

what the…why the…
how could you do that?
what are you?
I almost took him down, called him names
broke the bond of teacher
and student
unleashed the anger
of my fights with the board
for hurting my Betsy
and leaving her out

did he mean for her to fall?
his grimace proved it

then the other male
the confused one, but gentle with
pony tail teaching
without much anger
shows me it is a game
pushing each other off the porch
until only one’s left
the ones on the ground
being fish
because all this man’s games
have no “it”

it changed me that day
thank goodness
I did not have to learn gun in hand
for real
I was so angry
and lost
might I have killed him?
no I wouldn’t have killed him
but still
it all moved so fast


later on
no one at that school
accepted Betsy
no one but that little boy
trying hard to include her
thinking hard
is this right?
how fragile this new friend

yes it is safe, he,
ten years old thinks
the consequence
of his inclusion

2 Responses

  1. Guns, the flashing boomstick that helped wipe out the native people in the early stages of takeover, when all thought of beautiful Thanksgiving pleasantries and happy faces smiling. What an evil invention, except too many with the power utilize it when they don’t know the answer.

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