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Sunday, September 29, 2019


by Lenny Lianne

Again the man said he’d just lost his job.
Again he said he lost his girlfriend.
            He’d just lost his way.
Again the man was lost yet
            said it was a free country.
            The man was lost in a free country and
again he said in this free country
            he’d lost everything,
                           everything that gave him any power,
                                                               any purpose,
                        — except his guns.
            He said in this free country the man with guns
                        had the power, was in power.
            The gun was all-powerful in this country and
again the man said he’d be damned
            if he’d give up this country
to low-life peons,
            said he’d go out of his way to shoot
all good-for-nothing outsiders
with their brown, black or yellow skin,
            illegals who didn’t look like him.
Again he said it was a free country
            and he was free to shoot riffraff
                        whether he looked in their faces first
                        or just aimed straight ahead or
                        to the left or the right.
Again the man said guns gave men power.
            In this free country the man with guns
                        was in charge.
Again he said he was in charge.
                                    In charge of the main event,      
                        the grand slam, the squeeze play,
            the final solution in his free country and
            he and his guns were center stage
                        and in charge.
       In charge of life and death
but mostly death.
Again the man with guns shouted “Charge”
            and shot straight ahead and
            to the right and the left.
And again death,
                   death again,
                        someplace, someday,
anywhere, at any moment,
                        in our country,
                        in this free country,
                   guns and death again
            and again and

Editor's Note: President Trump met in the Oval Office on Friday with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, and discussed prospective gun legislation and whether the N.R.A. could provide support for the president as he faces impeachment and a more difficult re-election campaign, according to two people familiar with the meeting. —The New York Times, September 27, 2019

Lenny Lianne is the author of four full-length books of poetry. Her poems have appeared in Rattle, Poet Lore, Third Wednesday, Southern Poetry Review and other journals and anthologies. She holds a MFA from George Mason University. She's taught poetry workshops on both coasts. Lenny and her husband live in Peoria, Arizona.