Journalism In Verse

4650726886_3c64f05ba5_o(2)

Injuries So Dire, One Struggles for Words

in Gun Violence/U.S. by

A small penetrating wound, the election.
At first you think it’s not so bad, then
you turn the patient over and recognize
the blast wave, the accelerating chaos
born of the yaw, the bullet tumbling,
destroying everything in its path—
rivers, canyon lands, school children,
legal protections. You see multiple organs
shattered, exit wounds a foot wide,
entire quadrants of abdomens destroyed.
You do what you can, but usually
the patient bleeds out before they reach
the operating theater. If they make it there,
it’s patchwork—amputations, colostomy bags.
Sure, old-style bullets damaged, but
eventually, the bullets were slowed and stopped
by the body politic. These weapons are meant
to kill. Asked about the emotional impact
of treating the victim, first responders say
I thought I had moved on, but with each attack,
it all comes
flooding back.

 

(text borrowed from “A Clinical View of Assault Rifles and Their Ghastly Toll,” The New York Times – link to online version)


READ MORE

Wounds from military-style rifles? ‘A ghastly thing to see’ [The New York Times]


Devon Balwit is a writer/teacher from Portland, OR. Her poems have appeared here as well as in The New Verse News, Rattle, Redbird Weekly Reads, Rise-Up Review, Rat’s Ass Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, Mobius, What Rough Beast, and more.

Image by Kevin Baird.

Latest from Gun Violence

bank-phrom-352283-unsplash

Ringing Out

By Alexandra Donovan. A shooting at the offices of the Capital Gazette
photo-1490643152483-07b79cdd4db1

Funeral Details

By Megan Merchant. "The sermon will grow loud at times, generic as
claudia-595686-unsplash

The Drawer

By Nicole Callihan. After another school shooting, every intimate space is rattled
vectorbeast-90-unsplash

Backyard Politics

By Donna Doyle. From their backyards, three neighbors argue about the firing
Go to Top