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Monday, June 22, 2015


by Carolyn Gregory

The Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, a day after Dylann Roof allegedly murdered nine congregants following a Bible study. PHOTOGRAPH BY JOE RAEDLE/GETTY via The New Yorker.

The snakes are slithering
from under the rocks
where worms and old bodies
lie buried.

The bones are not stopping them
from venomous thoughts
of squeezing innocents to death
or sinking their fangs in.

For they have been hungry
in their hiding holes,
thinking of the red meat
of their prey running quickly
across the prairie

to their own small caves
between mountains and cactus,
fearful for their families
and children.

Nothing will paralyze the snakes
save the hatchets good men wield
in the dead of night
to save our people's freedom.

Carolyn Gregory has published poems and music reviews in American Poetry Review, Seattle Review, Cutthroat, Borderlands: Texas, Main Street Rag and Wilderness House Literary Review. She previously won a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has published two full length volumes of poetry through Windmill Editions in Florida: Open Letters (2009) and Facing the Music (2015).