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After days of murder, more bodies

than nights in a week, you would think

we’d say Enough. Instead,

more blood. Don’t think

it’s just the dealers, that side

of law not in your nature.

It’s expectant fathers on morning walks,

it’s businessmen minding their business,

selling denim on Sunday afternoons.

Yesterday, my student, who doesn’t believe

in gun control, said he wanted to write

a poem about parenting & the right

to bear arms, how slipping on one side

affects the other

(you guess

which way that goes).

& though you won’t find me w/steel

in the small of my back (@ least

not by my hand), I know the peace

a poem can bring. So I say, Yes,

write. & he goes back to his seat

nodding his head, the room filled

w/the voices of his classmates

comparing Dove, Simic, & Wright,

the push of my chair

back from my desk to stand & speak

like fingernails

on a chalk board, like a scream

when a gun       fires.

from dying in the scarecrow’s armsFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2018
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Mitchel L.H. Douglas Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.