The sun is shining in my small corner of the world this morning. There’s a cool breeze, birds are singing, people around the neighborhood are stirring, having coffee on front porches, some will head to the churches that populate dozens of corners throughout my town. No doubt those congregants will offer thoughts and prayers for the victims of the last 24 hours, for the 29 departed souls, for the 53 people injured, for the families changed forever. Thoughts and prayers.
I’m sick of this. I’m angry. We the people know what we need to do. Weapons of war need to be removed from our streets and the hallowed arsenals of 2nd amendment zealots. We need sensible gun regulation, background checks, mental health services and transparency in law enforcement. Our forefathers did not envision this when they penned that amendment. But they had the foresight to include a phrase that gets lost in the “right to bear arms” mantra…”a well-regulated militia”. This is the second amendment in full, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
What we have today is anything but regulated. Those in power, who suckle at the teats of the NRA are not interested in the will of the people. And cry as we may in outrage, we are responsible for keeping them in power; for the reign of terror that has assaulted us. We put them in office and keep them there, unchecked, allowing them to reap wealth and prosperity for themselves, the rest of us be damned.
And there is one more thing that bears mentioning. The elephant in the room. It is the caustic hateful rhetoric that spews from the jowls of the president day in day out. He wins when we are divided. He wins when the hate of people of color, the foreigner, lgbtq people, the poor, the sick, so-called liberals, the others, as in anyone not white, boils under our skin turning us against each other. But we can’t let him win. Trump is not the first and only source of this sickness but he is most certainly a symptom of the deep-seeded brokenness of our young nation. He is the epitome of everything that is ugly and hate-filled, selfish and evil and because he holds a position of supreme power, we must hold him accountable. He tweeted his thoughts and prayers for the victims of yesterday’s tragedy. I’m sorry, this is not enough Mr. president. It is meaningless. El Paso’s shooter clearly idolized you and was emboldened by your rhetoric. You alone are responsible for rallying the underbelly of society with every rant and chant of “lock her up”, “send her back”, for every dehumanizing statement you make about black and brown people, trans people, the poor, the educated and informed people who see right through your scam, for anyone who does not “bow to trump”. White terrorists are not “good people” Donald. They are your deadly minions.
I am sick of this. I am angry. I am heartbroken. And I’m feeling helpless and vulnerable right now. 251 mass shootings have occurred in 214 days in 2019 with 1,032 people being shot. Of those people, 180 have died. We are past asking, “what will it take” and “how many more”. Talk gets us nowhere. Talk gets us more terror tomorrow and the next day and the next.
Tell those you love that you love them. Tell them and show them every chance you get this week. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow. So let’s be kind to each other. Life is short. Peace out.
Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 4 August 2019
we forget love fashioned us
armed with poison secrets
soul devouring ecstasy
sizzling on sand bars like toast
soaking me down to the skin…
face gone dark this black moon night
let’s get real, because it’s true, life is too short
the coo of a lone dove, mourning,
please don’t despair, in this dark time kindness is free
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.