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Thursday, May 26, 2022


by deb y felio

The former guy "is scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association's Annual Leadership Forum on Friday. But audience members at the group's annual meeting, being held this year in Houston, won't be able to carry guns during his address. The conference is going ahead in the shadow of Tuesday's mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school that killed at least 21 people—including 19 students." —NPR, May 25, 2022

Let us now raise our voices
for the freedom we have to make our choices
of who lives who dies 
and not on the battlefields where all are armed
but at schools and churches newly charmed
with flowers and toys, memorialized.

Let us now send out our thoughts and prayers
and pay no notice to the real players
who love to make a stand
not against the gun lobbyists
or restrictions for purchases
those real actions would be too grand.

So Texas before you can bury the children
the NRA you will be welcoming
and after all it isn’t guns that kill.
But if that eighteen year old had entered
that school today and stuck out his finger
would so many lives have been stilled?

deb y felio is a poet writing as witness to the mundane and miraculous and the under-represented sides of historic and current issues while working as a family and child therapist in Colorado. Published credits include anthologies Hay(na)ku 15; Gabriel’s Horn: Startled by Nature (2020); Refuse to Stay Silent (2020). Her cherita sequence was a finalist in MacQueens’s Quarterly March 2021 ekphrastic challenge.