May 25, 2022

Our flag slides down the silver pole
once again
stopping halfway
its trajectory now rooted in its memory.
This time it pauses and wavers
in remembrance of nineteen children
two school teachers
trapped and murdered in a classroom,
each crumbling one after another
onto the blood-stained floor.
I see their photos, smile after smile
on brown faces, white faces,
hopeful faces,
one child wears a t-shirt
“Difference maker” emblazoned
in white.
Gone, they are gone,
sacrificial lambs
placed upon the great red brass altar
of the American Gun,
copper, tin, and zinc bow down,
and all the priests
in royal garb and meaningless chant
surround it with their “rights”
and their endless hungry fear.
I go outside where my summer plants
have begun to bloom, and I prune them,
setting each loose blossom
to the wind
in prayer for children who will not
race in the sun.

© Rosemary McMahan