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Friday, September 20, 2013


by Janice Lynch Schuster

They will know us by our guns
The fierce industry of our arms
As we drag our heavy bodies
Loaded and overwrought
Into coffee shops where we never sit
With our backs to the door

We will think they love us
When really, it is fear that keeps them
Frozen at our sides, unable to turn
In any direction.  We can take them out
And never feel a thing.

We will carve our names and terrors
Into wood and steel, the way we once
Left our initials in trees and school desks

We will want someone to know
That we were here, and by damn
When the levee breaks
We will shoot that water down.

Janice Lynch Schuster
is the author of a collection, Saturday at the Gym, and has been published in various print and online venues, including Poet Lore, Your Daily Poem, and The Broadkill Review. She writes about health care and public policy, lives in Annapolis, MD, and works in Washington, DC.