Other Poems

Another Word is yet to be heard

A rant following the 14 February 2018 mass shooting at Douglas High

by Ken Sehested

“A child of God is dead. Can not we acknowledge in this country that we cannot accept this?” —former FBI agent and counterterrorism expert Philip Mudd, breaking into tears when talking about the 15 February 2018 school shooting in Broward County, Florida. Who could predict that a terror expert could be anointed as the Spirit’s agent in prophetic protest against the spirit of the age?

nothing says ash wednesday
or valentine’s day
like murdered children

thoughts and prayers
yachts and snares
crackpots and debonairs

mascots and nom de guerres
mug shots and glares
onslaughts and concierges

whatnots and au pairs
Croats and Khmers
tater tots and teddy bears

the next public figure
who offers thoughts and
prayers to grieving parents

and traumatized teachers
should be sentenced to
cradling stillborn babies

in their arms
for at least
half an eternity

and tie gun barrels
into knots
for the remainder

we have had
on average
one school schooling

per week in the
last five years
this year alone

138 children have
died or been wounded
from gunfire

the nra be damned
can you imagine the
sh*tstorm of missiles

that would fly
toward Syria
if US troops endured

such casualties
it requires no
grammatician

to read the
second amendment
where the dependent clause

“the right to bear arms”
is subordinate to
the independent clause

“a WELL REGULATED militia”
g-ddam the nra and their
every congressional lackey

“unfortunately, lessons are
never, never learned” was the
response of news anchor

Wolf Blitzer to Philip Mudd
who broke into sobs
when asked to make

sense of such abomination
there was no emotion in
Blitzer’s voice, only

resignation, as if so say
“that’s the way  it is and
will be, world without end”

this is lent’s reproach
to easter’s promised rise
for whose approach we

will never intercede
short of facing these
facts, drinking these

dregs, eating this
sorrow, with (literal)
death-defying resolve

that another
WORD
is yet to be heard

#  #  #

©ken sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org
*figures from Gun Violence Archive +29 casualties in Ash Wednesday’s school shooting in Florida