America has 2 many guns + 2 many assault rifles - respect for education + underpaid educators ÷ by students without discipline + a too “selfie” centered populace 2 pay attention - respect for President Obama [or anyone in authority] × a biased news media + more guns × Trump + (another) Bush + Huckabee ÷ by organized religion + climate change doubters × a polar-
ized climate + deep corporate greed - creativity in schools - critical thinking skills + more stress - genuine laughter × Reaganomics ÷ by class wars + financial stress - the middle class × mounting student debt × the working poor + prescription drugged zombies + unaffordable health care (for some) + even more guns (for more) × pro-life + votes against women’s issues ÷ by Planned Parenthood (pro-choice) - compassion - common sense - empathy for others + more and more guns × gay marriage ÷ by God + Kim Davis ÷ by Pope Francis’ U.S. visit × divisive social media threads × more social unrest + a targeted Hillary’s Bengasi + a torrid Tea Party × an un-
touchable NRA × multiple school shootings + daily drive-by shootings + theater shootings (not on the movie screen) + an anchor shot (dead) live on camera + children killing children (over a puppy) × 365 days of violence: giving even more Americans ammunition. How long will a divided (violent) country last when we keep multiplying these problems expecting an equal (safe) outcome for all?
Lylanne Musselman is an award winning poet, playwright, and artist. Her work has appeared in The New Verse News, Flying Island, The Rusty Nail, So it Goes, Issue 3, among others, and many anthologies. One of her poems was selected for the Best of Flying Island, 2014. In addition, Musselman has also been a Pushcart Nominee. Musselman is the author of three chapbooks and she co-authored Company of Women: New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press, 2013).