An American Dirge
Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice
Philando Castile, Michael Brown
And on and on and on and on
Hero cops, and racist cops
Museums that recall genocide
Museums so we don’t forget lynchings
Two towers leveled, thousands lose their lives
We mourn, tears flow, and on we go.
Don’t kill my buzz
We’re trying to have a good time here.
Life is beautiful
American is beautiful.
Dylan Roof shoots
An African American Bible study group.
Survivors forgive him.
Adam Lanza, blighted boy,
Kills 20 six and seven year olds.
A troubled shooter ends his life
And leaves a nation drenched in tears.
Stoneman Douglas, Columbine
Captive targets, grief abides
More troubled shooters
Express their ire.
Children grow up before our eyes.
San Bernardino, Orlando,
Fort Hood, Aurora, Santa Fe,
Boston Strong, and Las Vegas
A marathon, some country songs
America mourns and mourns.
Don’t kill my buzz
We’re still trying to have a good time here
We’re trying to pretend
(And maybe pretending
Will someday make it so)
That America is still beautiful.
In the night,
A President allows
Displays of spite.
Democrats are demons.
Republicans will save you
(If you are rich and white
A leader says, “I don’t sow hate”
But 14 Democrats get bombed,
And worshippers in Temple
Are slain in prayer.
2 more troubled shooters bound for jail.
Freedom made America shine
Now we wallow in mourning and tears,
Again and again, they seem our fate.
Can we save our father’s dreams
And stretch them to our modern needs?
Americans still say don’t kill our buzz.
We’re trying to enjoy our lives out here,
And pretending that American is still the home
Of “spacious skies” and “waving grain”
“From sea to shining sea”.
[One dirge is not enough. We may need more. It would be great if this was our last dirge, our last moment of national mourning caused by a neighbor’s loneliness, hate, or radical thoughts. People are having a harder time pretending that life in America is basically normal because the blips on their radar are starting to burst their happiness bubble. As for those of us who can’t seem to turn away, we want to understand how to find ways to cure it. If we don’t will this ever end? Isn’t America tired of reanimating itself after each tragedy? Isn’t America tired of tears yet?]