We felt they were beautiful then, the toy guns.
We used to reserve each other’s wounds for
later. To delay firing, until we determined how
much it would hurt, until we pretended so
much it really hurt. What was beautiful then?
The weight of restraint heavier than barrels
and trigger fingers through skinny kid alleys.
We never shot anyone who didn’t reserve it.
None of us did. We felt first, then fired.
It is how we learned to feel another’s wound.
A deadly silence has been living too long
in the corridors of power. Now we are old
and weeping at the eloquence of teen students
speaking and marching against gun violence in
our nation, their voices full of our country
when it held and now holds hope again in
them. It is our hope and vote that those
elected listen into the rapid fire that killed and
still kills kids and many in crowds, churches,
synagogues and mosques, streets of our cities,
schools, and our intimate rooms, and pass
thriving legislation for the good of all homes.