If we saw with the slowest motion and the quickest eyes
then we might marvel at the magnificent fountains
that erupt from freshly penetrated flesh, torn by triggers
pulled ever so slightly in the slighting of unbroken skin.
Much like dancing hoses under the greatest pressure
would we see splatter in the moment of its birth
as it makes its flutter like scarlet scarves shed into air
on the way to tragic demarcations of sorrow and terror.
Such an incredible globular ballet shot by arteries
torn and tossed by rapid fire rounds and rounds
and neverending spitting of pointed steel in rounds
served up by belts and drums and magazines.
If we saw the spreading shock on their young faces
what would the quickest of our snapshots report,
and would the blossoms of pain being born
in classroom screams be serenade enough?
Is this the freedom we crave, we insist get our shield
so that the coward and the derelict and the mad
can rip the beloved from our now empty arms
for the sake of arms no decent man should claim?
About the Poem
This poem was inspired by the tragic slaughter of 20 elementary school children and 6 adults by gunfire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Something I noticed in all the news coverage was the great pains being made to not talk in detail about the carnage this rampage caused. I understand being respectful of the sensibilities and the emotions of the families of those killed. At the same time, it seems to me if we are going to get serious about the role of gun ownership in our society, then there comes a time when we can't sugar coat the ugly and horrible truth about what transpired in those awful moments. Because defending ownership of assault weapons means defending the ability to create the horror that unfolded. It deserves to be considered as it might have been experienced in the moment.
This poem was finished December 18, 2012. It is previously unpublished in print.