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Wednesday, May 25, 2022


by Ginny Lowe Connors

And our steaks—we like them rare.
Our vengeance bloody and loud. Lightning bolts
aimed at the heart. That thrill. That satisfaction
when our rage explodes.
Ask the six-year-olds of Sandy Hook.
Ask their parents. Or anyone from Ulvalde.
Ask the stuffed bunny left behind
on the bed, one ear bent and frayed.
Tissue paper parachutes
drifting over the wastelands of our freedom—
that’s what the prayers became
of those in the Pittsburgh synagogue
and in the Fort Worth Baptist Church.
Nobody asks about the anonymous workers
who come in afterward to clean up the blood.
In the schools, the churches, the nightclubs.
The homes, the offices. Grocery stores.
That sludge, that slurry of hatred, cold sweat, malice—
how long must the smell of it linger?
I myself cannot eat steak. I cannot free myself
from the vision of a little boy racing a school bus. 
Something is happening to the field of wildflowers
I used to carry in my chest, asters and daisies, bees.
Summer sunlight. I’m full of holes.
The hummingbirds are escaping.
Ginny Lowe Connors taught English in a public secondary school for many years. She is the author of four full-length poetry collections, including her latest poetry book Without Goodbyes: From Puritan Deerfield to Mohawk Kahnawake (Turning Point, 2021). Her chapbook Under the Porch won the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, and she has earned numerous awards for individual poems. She is co-editor of Connecticut River Review and runs a small poetry press, Grayson Books.