December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012
Elliott batTzedek

How hard is it not to shoot a child?
How hard to raise up children who will not shoot
children? How hard not to sell exploding bullets and
assault rifles and video-game infomercials? How hard
not to pay for care for the lost and the broken and the crazy before
the SWAT teams and the counselors are called?

Easy, easy, so much easier
than blood that can never be cleared from a classroom, than
knowing “point-blank range” means children saw
his face and knew the hard stone bullets were coming.

A senior in high school when Lennon’s glasses were shattered,
my life since has seen murder after mass murder,
most with masculinity in common,
most with the un-mentionable race,
most with mental illness, too.

But all with guns and guns and guns and guns
and guns and guns and guns.

New Year Resolve by May Sarton

New Year Resolve
May Sarton

The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.

Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.

Let silence in.
She will rarely speak or mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.

For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water.

“New Year Resolve” by May Sarton, from Collected Poems 1930-1993. © W.W. Norton & Co., 1993.