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Sunday, February 18, 2018


by Mary Kay Schoen

At Chichen Itza the guide said the ancient
Mayans threw innocents into the cenote
human sacrifice to forestall the end of the world

In World War II young Americans
died to defeat an evil regime
human sacrifice to make the world safe

At Littleton and Sandy Hook
and the school down the street
we send in our children

innocents in the line of fire
to defend the rights of congressmen
to finance reelection to defend the rights

of the folks who want assault rifles handy
in case the US Armed Forces are insufficient
or a deer might bound away

Shall Congress not hand out thanks
and Gold Stars to all the grieving parents
whose children gave their lives

to keep safe those seats on Capitol Hill?

Mary Kay Schoen is a Virginia writer whose feature stories have appeared in The Washington Post and association publications. Her poetry can be found in Persimmon Tree, America, and an anthology of Southwestern poetry from Dos Gatos Press. She spends too much time reading the newspaper.