Not Why

I wrote this after Newtown, but it still resonates as strongly now as ever…as if I wrote it for Boston, for Chicago, for Chibok, for Melbourne, for Paris. We have to stop killing each other. We have to stop hating each other.


Be still this heart
Lay to rest this reckless wandering
This hopeless asking why
There are too many whys
Too few of which are acceptable

What purpose or cause can I give to a child who can no longer see red without weeping?

What purpose or cause do I give to her mother who now holds too tight, too long and she places her on the school bus

What purpose
What cause do I give to myself?
My mind?
My guilty, guilty conscience
Wondering if I, too did not help him pull that trigger 27 times

We watch our hearts ripped out from their spaces
And again
Feel the burn of it
The warm of it
The sting of it
Over and again

Yet never think to ask the necessary question

Not who or what

But how can we? How can we stand to see men and women and children
Turned into gunpowder and lace
How can we stand to throw those whose minds are fragile enough to mistake death for redemption
On the streets

Who can we blame ?
what hands, what lips can we use to convict
When it was our own calloused hands, used against us

We arm ourselves
Build our fences higher
Burn the path that leads to our front door and fasten the lock behind us
Thinking that alone can save us

Hold our babies closer and pray it will not be us next time



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