A Child, a knife

 

A child, a knife, yet another life and another cut down
I heard it on the news this morning
In the car
on the way
to work
—a news report.

Some child had gone to school and in the place where other children learn and play
he had done the unspeakable

And now there are kids in stretchers
and hospital rooms
Life cut short at the end of an angry knife
Innocence ended with a sharp pain
that doesn’t end as quickly as a wound will heal

Now come the questions
The endless clacking of TV jaws
plastic as the sets from which they’re watched
and maybe great law-makers will all shake hands
And do their canned jams from grandstands
Only using the tragedy to prove their existence justified

And just do something

Anything
to prevent

“If only one child…”
“Please we must…”
“But this would’ve saved”

And a million “why’s”
Not the kind that the saddened families will ask
But a “why” that ends in a “why” or a lie
In the end
It’s just for cameras

and appearances
and for…
and for…

Another law may pass
or it won’t

Doesn’t matter
for the truth is
The truth.  If it matters to such as these
That these great tragedies
are what they are—evil.

There is no Why other than a troubled kid
Some dysfunction or anger, or social, or blah-blah
He was one of us—although he wasn’t
at least, we’ll say

It wasn’t the knife
or the gun
or the bomb
or the fist, or bat, or rock
It
is
just evil

That–the plastic jaws leave unsaid
For then we’d have to face the evil in us
the evil we let be and grow and fester
infect

We would stare into the mirror
and our evil would stare back at us

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