journalism in verse

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Not the Time

in Gun Violence/Politics by

to talk about stricter gun laws,
they say, as dozens of funerals
are planned and hospitals overflow
by the hundreds. Not the time to speak
up and ask why anyone could need
assault rifles
muzzle flash suppressors
hundreds of rounds of ammo
for any other reason than to send
us spiraling again in grief and shame
and sorrow and desolation. Not the
time to wonder why guns are legal on
Kansas college campuses when a twenty-two-
year-old I went to school with for
thirteen years—mixers field trips
birthday parties Friday morning masses
volleyball matches skating parties middle
school musicals recesses two graduations
this picture of our kindergarten soccer
team holding up trophies and beaming
she was only four days younger
than me—she “took one in the chest”
in a college town and suddenly that’s
the end and the beginning and they don’t
even know who did it, and then in less than
a day, in the haze of night, I hear
Las Vegas whispers that started as screams
and however complex this epidemic, this daily
normal, this “what we’re known for” on the
back of our bubble gum card may be, you
think more guns will solve the problem?

Oh. I’m sorry. It’s not the time.

 


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Catherine Strayhall is a nerdfighter from Kansas City and a Kansas State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Literature and Creative Writing. She is the two-time winner of the annual Sullivan Poetry Award at K-State, and her work has appeared in The Kansas City Star, elementia, and on the website of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society. In 2017 she created a project called “Mobile Poetry” on Facebook which features a Google Map of location-based poetry around Manhattan, Kansas.

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