I stepped out in July,
For a run, a short one mind.
As I made the first step I was quick to realize
This was the 4th, and memories flied.
I hear the first bang, the pop and the whizz.
With the whistle behind, it’s not so bad
But then that incessant snapping is,
And my stamina flagged.
Suddenly my thoughts matched my pace
And rhythmic words phrased
Sentences and stanzas carefully raced
And I knew my run would be poetically chased.
You light your fireworks and let off a bang.
You cheer for the sound that’s causing someone pain.
You let the loudness startle the crowd,
And watch the trailing sparkles in awe.
How do we celebrate something we barely remember-
With the sounds someone else will never forget?
We watch floral fires light in the sky,
And we forget for this holiday, something had to die.
Now don’t misunderstand me,
This day is grand, not at all protested,
apple pie and sweet tea are hardly contested.
But we celebrate emancipation with a sound that
Emanates the perpetuation
Why raise red cups spilling beer, and making claims of greatness,
When in the next street over, your neighbors can’t make
Monthly payments –
and not because they’re lazy or unmotivated,
Some people can’t get hired because of to whom they’re related.
You cheer for your independence, but you’re not walking free.
No, we’re all walking around chained to our fear.
Convinced bullets are the only way to break out.
Determined that our carry anywhere AR15 permits are the tickets
But we don’t seem to see the millions felled, the ones gunmen select
We celebrate people who died over 200 years ago,
For a country of free citizens we cannot protect
Because, senselessly we cling to something we cannot control.
We walk in a world deliberately armed as a militia.
Where we’re more likely to fight for the accessibility of ammunition,
Than the feasibility of a free education.
Because one means we can kill and end up on top,
And the other means we might all be equals, and,
goodness, then where would the progress stop?
So by all means, let us look to the fire tinged red rockets glare
See the melted popsicle stain smear into the night sky
Only if then, we can look at the ground and see the bodies piled there.
And finally admit, freedom might be a lie.
To some this may sound angry,
I swear to God I’m just scared.
I sit with my back to my wall and listen to the fireworks.
Listen to them all.
I hear the people here, crying for their murdered friends.
Begging, pleading with America to make it all end.
I see the Syrian girls, half my age,
The African children, already enslaved.
The soldiers we praise, who’s nights will never be silent,
Who will flinch the rest of their days.
I think of the war and the battles we’ve instigated,
Because of people we’ve envied or hated.
I shudder in horror at this culture we’ve created.
This monster of fire we’ve bred.
It was us, the engineers and the builders, it was us asking for more,
More ways to make more people dead.
It is through our fault the gun was fed.
And we’ve stood here before.
In wars gone by we fell
In tragedies we thought history could never retell.
And again here we stand.
Hand on throat, gun in hand.
Don’t you know, o people, war doesn’t make the world whole?
So if you believe, throw down your guns and pray.
Pray for those people you don’t even believe have a soul.
Pray until your knees are as bloody as the hands of the country you call home.
Please, I don’t say this to be mean.
It’s not hateful, or out of spite.
It’s not for the blue against the red.
It’s just from a being, female and white.
From one who doesn’t give a damn if a gun is my right.
I care if my children grow up safe.
I care if the babies I bear
Have education opportunities to spare.
I care if the home I create, is expected to entertain an arsenal, just to be safe.
I care if the people I vote for, can protect the country we entrust to them,
Without the people of this broken democracy, stopping them.
I care that someone listens to the plea of peace.
I care that my children grow up knowing things can change.
That Harry didn’t die for a fantasy world in vain.
But to teach my generation that things can’t stay the same.
Something’s got to give, and fighting is the age old tale.
It’s never gotten much more than blood and tears.
Let’s spin something else,
Something worth lasting through the years.
Let’s teach ourselves now, the ways of peaceful loving.
So as our children grow, they won’t be left wondering –
Is this world any more than a bullet ridden death toll?