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Thursday, March 15, 2018


by David Spicer

You rest on the Capitol lawn

silent as the senators and congressmen

who ignore you and your former owners
you’re there protesting inaction and corruption

your owners’ names on placards near you
stay on that ground as long as you can

call for your owners to resurrect from the dead
to inhabit you to haunt the bought and paid for politicians

who blame mental illness local cops
unarmed teachers anything but the weapons

yes let their invisible feet wear you again
fly into the sky an invisible insurrection of gentle avengers

every time you see one of the lawmakers strolling down
Pennsylvania Avenue or the steps of the granite

gun church tell the ghosts to slap one of them
on his head knock some compassion into his apathy

perform aerial demonstrations guided by the ghosts
of the 7000 children and of teachers concertgoers,

dancers housewives grandmothers bus drivers
7000 pairs of you all colors and kinds red sneakers brown

slippers blue high heels yellow loafers white crocs
remain together escape from the hired sanitation workers

paid to collect you gather by the Potomac don’t let them
find you and diminish your power no transform your cloth

skin your rubber soles your canvas faces your leather toes
into new life defy science defy reality band together perform miracles

speak for the dead speak for their ghosts speak for future ghosts
oh shoes what will become of you don’t let them take you away

don’t let anybody dump you in the latest landfill and forget about you
whisper shout mutter sing yell into enough ears of enough saviors

who will pick you up and save you for another demonstration
on another lawn at the capitol of a state until you convince

the crooked men with their crooked souls and their crooked suits
to do something to do anything to stop stop stop their crooked silence

until you find more and more shoes thousands of more shoes hundreds
of thousands of more shoes who will join you and join an army

that cannot be stopped an army of 7000000 ghosts of 70000000
ghosts of victims who cannot speak anymore cannot laugh anymore

cannot run anymore cannot enjoy a day with cousins at a picnic on a lawn
much like the capitol lawn cannot return the smile of an infant

because two of the shoes are hers cannot think of a time
when guns didn’t exist cannot live in a land of guns any longer

David Spicer has poems in Chiron Review, Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Reed Magazine, Raw, The Ginger Collect, Yellow Mama, PloughsharesThe New Verse News, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of Everybody Has a Story and five chapbooks; his latest chapbook is From the Limbs of a Pear Tree, available from Flutter Press.