Monday, July 18, 2016

Poetic Response to a Mass Shooting: Another Day in the Life of America

Sometimes the only response to recent news is an angry poem:

(written after the mass shooting at the Pulse dance club in Orlando, Florida, June 2016) 

By Susan L. Lipson

The Holier-Than-Thous are twittering again,
moaning online and calling for public “moments of silence”
to honor more victims with the passivity of prayer,
victims whom they’ve victimized themselves
by dubbing gay love an “abomination,”
and by restricting their rights to liberty in love,
and to living with acceptance, rather than mere tolerance.

The Holier-Than-Us call out for prayers
to protect our world
(when they really mean their world)
from terrorism
(when they really mean a certain non-Christian religion),
and also from hate crimes
(not including their crimes of exclusion, derision, and delegitimization).

How convenient to pray now for the souls of some of the “sinners”
whom they previously reviled,
to pray in the interests of the “greater” Good
(their greater Good),
and how ironic that they do not dare now
to publicly call that Pulse stopped by evil
“a Divine scourge against sinners,”
only because this time, the judgment was wreaked by those
who also threaten them.

A murderer planned to induce terror,
but instead, he induced a bittersweet moment of forgotten labels and  
       remembered humanity.
A moment of possibility,
lasting only until the next judgmental rant…