So, rough week here in the States. Inconceivable loss for several families on a day that started like any other. The sun rose in the east, wisps of clouds streamed across a crisp blue sky, and I’ve no doubt there was happy birdsong sweetening the breeze wherever people happened to be. It was an ordinary day that flipped into a nightmare at the hands of a disturbed, angry, young man, left behind by the dwindling resources of our top heavy nation.
By evening the horrible facts started to trickle in…17 dead, many wounded; and with it, regret for words unsaid in the rush of the morning, dreams cut short, trauma inflicted, survivors made. Adding salt to fresh wounds was a litany of vapid talking points from our leaders, “thoughts and prayers for this tragedy that our children should never suffer…” but it’s “too soon…too soon to talk about” regulating our homegrown militia of angry white men. It was, of course, as it always is, about mental health, punctuated by a victim-shaming lecture, against those who witnessed the festering insanity of the shooter and said nothing, even though they did say something, we learned, to law enforcement who regretfully missed the gravity of this impending doom. But it wasn’t guns, it’s never guns that caused this latest slaughter of our greatest treasure. With a nod to the NRA, a gun show opened shop a county away from the shuttered crime scene for what would be a banner weekend of arming the fearful with weapons of war.
By Friday, Congress recessed early, the president went golfing, and another news cycle shifted the focus of our attention to porn stars with stained dresses, playboy bunnies, Russian Bots, cyber attacks, justice on the cusp and a “no collusion, but it is Obama’s fault” mantra of vindication spewing from 45’s vile mouth. He finished the week by grinning, “thumbs up” in a photo op with the medical teams who were charged with patching our battered youth together to face another ordinary, possibly horrible day.
We’ve had too many weeks like this. Except…this time feels different. This time feels angry and raw and perhaps even hopeful. The curtain has been ripped back revealing those whose pockets are lined with blood money, calling them to account for their complicity and cowardice. This time there is a force rising, armed with the fiercest of weapons…truth. And though they are young, they are legion; older and wiser than their 5-6 year old contemporaries whose memories still haunt us. This same generation has found its voice and will soon be old enough to vote. A storm is coming with its thunderous cry…”Enough!” This gives me hope even as I grieve.
It’s been a rough week, but I want to leave you with this: Be gentle with yourself. Say I love you often. Breath deliberately, slowly in, then out, and savor each moment as best you can. None of us are promised tomorrow. All the more reason to seize the day. Peace.
Sunday’s Week in ReVerse -18 February 2018
giving a damn often leads to losing one’s shit
a sweaty blob in a puddle of drool
it’s sometimes a symptom
the honey-soaked earth glimmering…
you were meant to fly
Do you have a minute?
a trio of cowbirds perch aloft, screaming
high above a flat earth…cows
should be an easy choice
it takes empathy
life is a mere blip
that’s a lot of love
only a breath lingers
charmed by the sun
and the gaslight flickers to black
A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.