Window Pains

Lift up the ledge,
an alarm sounds.
“Don’t do that dear.”
Arm of grape vines entwine.
Reflections reminds me
I’m a prisoner,
been looking through
the same pane
going on a year.

Three quick taps,
he appears.
Three blond strands
behind one ear.
Through the frame of wood
a few street lights out
in our neighborhood.
Pockets deep with shadow
for young lovers to steal.

Frosted bathroom window
half the regular size,
I’m recently dried.
Squeezing damp flesh
to the other side.
No shoes. No clues.
Where am I running away to?
Bury me in a ravine, but
the squish of toes in mud
before the final click of cuffs.

The teacher opens a window
silently in prayer
waits for twenty-four
to crawl free,
“Head for the trees!”
A shepherd counting sheep,
escape is nothing new,
but before she makes it through,
the shooter’s at the door.


I set out this week to share a nonlinear story that would accompany Flashback Track #60 which celebrates Bob Dylan’s recent birthday by exploring the mixed-up masterpiece, “Tangled Up in Blue” but somewhere along the way, this narrative poem got tangled up with the recent tragedy.

Another mass shooting happened this week in South Texas. The history of how it happened isn’t linear and it isn’t easy to explain. As an educator, a mother, and a believer in nonviolence, I am horrified. I am scared for my own children and for my colleagues. I hope gun laws will change, but as we examine the influences on our youth and our society and what led to this level of anger and desensitization, the answer is sure to be multifaceted, tangled up, a knot that requires hearts to be searched not just pockets. I’d love to hear your thoughts as we grieve this tragedy.

28 Comments

  1. A haunting and visceral depiction of such a heartbreaking tragedy. You expressed it so poignantly here – far better to confront this head on and question why it happened rather than sweep it under the rug and forget. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Tom. It takes me a bit to process these things.(I haven’t processed this fully yet.) I think we need to talk more of the causes and the violence that is acceptable in the virtual .

      Liked by 1 person

    1. True. The President can’t really make laws, but there can be outcry and there can be demanding of change. It has gone on too long this disillusionment that guns are not at least partly to blame.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Here in the states, It’s easier to be a freedom fighter than to fight a freedom. But this is a deadly freedom, and it needs to be tempered. My question as the courts spend their time deciding how to take back control of my uterus is….how many live children must die?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. you know the thought just occurred to me that this might be the place for a blistering piece of fiction in the line of Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ ridiculing the current gun situation not head on but obliquely —

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s splendid advice. I’m wondering why so many never take it, as it applies to so many peoples’ situations, would you not agree? Guess it’s easier said than done. I think this poem is doing something as it spreads awareness of the issues at hand. You didn’t like it? As well as being an advocate of gun control, I am also working to positively influence many children with mental health issues lives for the better. I’d say that was doing something on the daily.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think there’s been a lot done, and there are a lot of people doing things. But it will take a high tide of outcry to destroy the fortress of the 2nd amendment, especially with conservative courts. I believe it can happen. I am willing to keep fighting. I do not agree with this love of guns that trumps all else.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Being in the USA I have no doubt that you see greater detail than I do.
        Just from the headlines, I see mass shootings from circa 1950 right up to the present day. Progress is not a word I’d use.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I saw your reply and then forgot it. Sorry. Well, it’s only been since 1996 that hand guns were outlawed in the UK after a school shooting killed sixteen children. So, there is hope yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Truly heart-breaking to see this story unfold on the news. Your words bring it to life vividly. I’m not qualified to understand the different influences that young people are exposed to nowadays. However, in the UK we have very different gun laws – for which I am extremely grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Marion. Yes, the laws need to change here. The attitudes that lead to the violence also need to change. I am grieving these things, but feeling like what I can do isn’t enough. I appreciate your comments here.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A tragedy that is, in many ways, incomprehensible. I love how you write about hearts being needed to truly understand what’s happening with gun violence in this country. I agree, and yet fear that egos will get in the way, as is the case often. Though, as I am also an educator, I will continue to stand for more strict gun laws, and also a compassionate inquiry into how we can work together to prevent these types of horrific incidents from continuing to occur. Beautiful poem, K. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I finished my letters to my representative and Congressmen, so I feel good about that. I hope to see change and more talks of what can be done. It is time for these atrocities to end. I want to believe this time it won’t be pushed aside. Thank you for your kind words and adding your voice here. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

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