#violence

THE LIFE WE ONCE KNEW

While in Las Vegas for Bryan’s 40th…as part of his birthday design 

We took a family picture…in front of the Welcome To Las Vegas sign.

 

As we stood for our portrait…it was a bright, beautiful, cool and sunny day

and behind us standing Vegas strong…was a cross…and the Mandalay Bay.

 

Our reverie paused a moment…for in that moment we all felt numb…

The cross and the hotel stand as chilling reminders of how unsafe our world has become…

 

When I was young the world seemed safe…oh there were dangers I have no doubt

but my parents didn’t seem to worry if through the neighborhood I traveled about…

 

My parents told me to be home for supper…to wear a jacket or I might freeze…

and when I got home they’d ask if I had fun…what I did…and how did I skin both my knees?

 

They didn’t worry about kidnappings, child sex trafficking, terrorism, mass murders or guns…

They worried that we had enough to eat, that we were dressed well and that we had fun.

 

When our children were young the world still seemed safe…oh there were dangers I have no doubt…

But we didn’t worry as our kids headed off in the neighborhood…to play and traveled about.

 

We didn’t worry about them getting shot at a concert or mowed dow by a car in the street

Their world…our world…seemed much safer…

free from harm…

protected and sweet.

 

When we finished taking our family picture I noticed Ali face timing her children back home

and I thought how unsafe the world has become…in whatever neighborhood they roam.

 

I brought my harmonica to Vegas to play Happy Birthday to Bryan…

I wanted to see a birthday smile light up his face…

But there by the cross memorializing the victims…

I took it out and played Amazing Grace.

 

I played that song for all the victims who lost their lives or were injured

and for all of their families too…

And remembering back to when we were young…

 

I played Amazing Grace for the life we once knew.


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ANOTHER DAY...ANOTHER SHOOTING

Another mass shooting this one in California…and another day goes by…

289 people are shot in America each day…87 of them die…

 

I’m not sure which is sadder that each day 289 shootings are taking place

or that the number no longer bothers us …that shootings are commonplace.

 

It doesn’t seem to matter if the murders are splashed across the evening news,

it doesn’t make a difference, it doesn’t change our views.

 

Oh, we’re angry for a moment…and for a moment it gives us pause…

but it doesn’t stop the killing…it doesn’t change the laws.

 

Would it be different if we knew that every 17 minutes in the rise and setting of our sun

someone in America is killed at the hands of someone with a gun?

 

When we look at the sheer numbers how can we not weep or shriek…

when we do the math and calculate we lose 600 people every week?

 

It is sad to think more people are gone who were here the day before

and even sadder to think we can multiply their family’s grief by over 600 more.

 

There is a problem in our society, the numbers do not lie.

It leaves many of us frustrated as each day more people die.

 

Until something is done to curb this violence that everyone deplores

I’m afraid today, like yesterday, will be a little sadder than it was the day before.

 

If you don’t believe we’ve become accustomed to this violence…

Here is what I mean….

This poem you’re reading right now…today…

I first wrote in January…

January…2016!