April 18, 2007

Easy Monthly Installments

Easy Monthly Installments


Today I heard a mayor say
that we lose thirty citizens
a day to gun violence.
Every day.

Are we so shot-through
with fast-cut smooth-talking
bite-sized-for-easy-consumption
everything

that we've lost the ability
(or is it the desire?)
to remember the wild possibilities,
the as-yet-unwritten splendor of
every life?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here I am standing in line
at the company store
again,

wondering who signed us up
for this
devil's bargain
payable only in blood and heartbreak,
borrowed against our souls.
What will I say to my son
when he asks me

what's for dinner?
The choices aren't choices,
and they never seem to change.


(Thanks to the women of Poetry Thursday
for their continuing inspiration.
I am letting myself feel this sadness.
I taped up a few copies of my poem – it's meant to be one poem w/ two parts –
in my school today. My heart was pounding. It felt very transgressive.
I gave Anonymous the credit, because I didn't want it to be about me.
And I left a few blank versions with just "Go ahead. Write a poem." on them
(Dana's idea). You can see one of the blank ones a little further down
the hallway in the photo below.)


9 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

very sobering commentary, very true.

Clockworkchris said...

about the first one-That story has been on my mind all week long, and it seems to keep getting worse. I had to admit that I am watching the biased news, but I am. Good job bringing it to light poetically.

Marie said...

Thank you for sharing your words for they can make a difference. Your voice needs to be heard because it's the voice of many of us! You did a brilliant job!

Regina Clare Jane said...

It does seem like we really have no choices anymore-
These were very powerful poems today, Shelley- thanks.

gautami tripathy said...

Poignantly sad but true.

And all of us need to speak out.

split ends said...

It's certainly good to let yourself feel, and I think you've put great words to the sadness of this terrible situation.

Still, I think there's hope, and I am holding out for the day it feels real again.

poet with a day job said...

I absolutely love "the choices aren't choices/and they never seem to change. It is so perfect, and I say it to myself every day. Thank you for embodying my range in this smooth verse.

Jessica said...

you've encapsulated what a lot of of us are feeling now...well done.

Stacy said...

I saw these around school and it made me very happy. And happier still to know it was your doing. Well done.