Praying with Fringes 12/12/2013 – One year since Newtown, and still the guns

Walking
Ellie Schoenfeld

A Tibetan prayer wheel
turns and turns,
sends prayers to the universe
with every revolution.
And now it is my feet,
all our feet,
walking,
one foot then another,
over and over,
every step a prayer
to stave off the horror
at the edges of our stomachs.
Every step a prayer.
One for the young man murdered,
one for each of the killers,
one for the people
who drove past the intersection
and did not stop,
one for me and the hope
that I would not do
the same thing.
Every step a prayer.
One for the woman found
long dead in a house
not far from me,
one for her killer,
one for the others
who beat her.
Every step a prayer.
One for the woman shot down,
one for the neighbors
who heard the shots
and did not respond,
one for me and the hope
that I would not do
the same thing,
one for the husband
who pulled the trigger
over and over.
Every step a prayer.
One for the people
who are buying a gun.
Who are buying a gun
because enough is enough,
because the prayer of walking
over and over together
is too slow
and the chamber of a gun
keeps on turning
sending its message to the universe.
It tells the lie
that this is the answer,
that what goes around
comes around
through its barrel.
A gun demands a sacrifice,
an enemy,
the willingness to kill.
A gun says follow me
and I will keep you safe.
I will be there
when you need me.
I will be there
when you think you need me.
I will be there
when you are not sure
but something happens fast,
I will be there.
Ask the questions later.
Better yet
don’t ask the questions at all,
just buy a gun.
Shoot first and join in the prayer
of the chamber spinning and spinning,
that metallic prayer
that stops the feet from moving.
That stops the feet
from sending the prayers of movement,
of walking together,
one foot then another,
every step a prayer
to stave off the horror.
Every step a prayer
of walking together,
walking together,
walking together,
walking together.

from The Dark Honey © Clover Valley Press, 2009

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