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Thursday, August 08, 2019


by Gail Thomas

Crosses for each of the victims of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, sit before being taken to a memorial site. CALLAGHAN O’HARE / REUTERS via The Atlantic, August 5, 2019

Innocence dies in every season, bullets spray in America.
Red blossoms swirl and drip, night and day in America.

Prayers don’t erase the names waiting to be spoken.
How many voices stilled? Money betrays in America.

School, church, temple, mosque, theater, mall, club.
False gods, assault weapons stay in America.

Oh, he was a hater, loner, misfit, bully?
Rage hides in plain sight, decay in America.

Abraham, faith-blind father, God saved your son.
We know the enemy within, but we pray in America.

Gail Thomas has published four books: Odd Mercy, Waving Back, No Simple Wilderness, and Finding the Bear. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, and awards include the Charlotte Mew Prize from Headmistress Press for Odd Mercy, the Massachusetts Center for the Book’s Must Read for Waving Back, and Naugatuck River Review’s Narrative Poetry Prize.