beloved innocents taken
pour red upon our fragile homes
in morning light spilled with guilt
we fret, we cry, we blame
measure the distance of our fall

a too-late urgency
in once-hallowed halls
crumbled by gunpowder barrels
the screams, the shots, the silence
measure the distance of our fall

then face-saving word dances
yes, we voted for them all
promises of safety like dewdrops on roses
redefinitions, sidesteps, avoidance
measure the distance of our fall

we cry for change, for changes
across the nation, we lift our calls
this cannot happen ever again!
while the guns, the response, the pain
measure the distance of our fall

About the Poem

This poem is my reflection on the events at the Uvalde shooting.

About the Author

Dale Hensarling is a published author, artist, and composer, living with his wife, five puppies, and a parrot named “Pongo” in Beaufort, South Carolina. He grew up in Mississippi, got an MFA from Lindenwood University, and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Communications. He teaches high school English.

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