The world is going crazy. Every day, the headlines scream of another mass killing. Orland, Dallas, Nice, Baton Rouge. And yet, here in my little patch of coastal forest where the main aggravation is moles tearing up my lawn, I can almost feel safe. Almost. Today I offer a poem I wrote after the killings in Dallas. There have been so many since then I can no longer tell which loss the flags are flying at half staff for. Let us all pray for peace.
MASSACRE DU JOUR
On TV, in Dallas, a black woman
with turquoise hair fights tears
amid the blood and bullet shells.
Three days after Fourth of July,
they thought it was fireworks, late
celebrations by boisterous youths.
When the cops fell, the protestors ran,
one picked off by the sniper hiding
in a community college parking garage.
Twelve cops shot, five of them dead,
the suspect, a soldier still carrying guns
blown into ash when he wouldn’t give up.
The blue-haired lady offers prayers
for the blacks, for the whites, for her kids
who worry that they might be killed, too.
President sends his condolences,
lowers the flags to half staff,
rails about gun laws again.
Freeways blockaded in Oakland,
subways stopped in New York,
Texans marching with signs.
Orlando, Nice and Baton Rouge.
Another crisis every day,
more breaking news for CNN.
Talking heads talk on and on,
speculate about why and how.
Ads hawk cars and sleeping pills.
My dog leads me out to the trees,
away from the scenes on TV.
A light rain is starting to fall.
Drops tickle my face and my hands
as sun warms the bones in my back.
Around me, the pine trees stand guard.
Robins trade tunes with the doves,
the Pacific whispers in and out.
In the distance, I hear guns.
[Copyright Sue Fagalde Lick 2016]