Tamara wrote this poem in response to the recent mass shootings and gun violence. This poem is written in the hopes that hearts and minds will change the way business is done in America. Therefore, she has requested that this not be behind the new subscription wall. We agree and are sharing it without a fee. We did, however, place subscription buttons at the end, should any hearts and minds be moved to support the publishing of our type of poetry. All of us here at DDPress are fed up by the amount of cruelty suffered the world over and we dedicate this piece to all that have suffered gun violence.
Despite what the mass media, government and corporations are saying, the real question before all of the United States right now is if we can set aside our differences long enough to stop our government from committing one of the worst atrocities mankind has ever witnessed. It is happening all around us and to us. Every day, a brother or sister, father or mother, friend or lover is gunned down with impunity. We stand by watching empty houses mere moments from a homeless person without even a bed. I’ve seen hungry children sell candy bars for under-privileged youth across the globe. The problem is that if we don’t snap out of this apathy and separatism, we are complicit in our own demise.
For those that are reading this with utter disgust for the examples listed above, I make no apologies for the tone of this essay. We, the people, are being slaughtered by our own country, for a pittance. A pittance. Nothing more than a line in a ledger. While they slither around DC guarding their cash cow.
There is no other way to interpret their agenda. In the last century, they have managed to manipulate us into relinquishing our civil rights, poison our food supply, poison our air and our water, the FDA approves medicines that do more harm than good, taken our children from their families to indoctrinate them into the system, strip them of the knowledge to survive without government, limit our ability to travel, live a self-sustainable life, provide for our own defense, legislate us all the way from the bedroom to the bathroom and selling our freedom for top dollar on the open market. The only thing that really jumps out is the callous nature with which this has been meted out. It sends a very clear message that our government is intent on eliminating a large portion of it citizens.
That’s right. I said it. Our government is actively engaged in the murder of its citizenry. My risk of death by possible “suicide” by two bullets in the back of my head just increased by a billion but someone for fuck’s sake has got to say it. We can’t stop it, if we don’t know what it is. It is imperative that we stop it. I don’t know about anyone else but I have had enough of seeing our friends, family, neighbors, all of us suffering at the hands of this sadistic administration.
It doesn’t matter who you voted for, or if you even voted. It doesn’t. It never did. We are all slated for removal and if this does not cause a coming together moment for all, then we deserve our deaths at the hands of our government.
Kill or care, that is the question before our congress, now. So, what will it be folks? Are you actively engaged in the murders of your constituency or are you ready to stop and give the rest of us our voices back? Aren’t you tired of betraying humanity? And the biggest question of them all: are you willing to bet everything you have on the continued apathy of us?
Please keep in mind that I hope my American family will remember how strong we really are together and that any legislation outside of returning the stolen money from social security, healthcare for all, return of the stolen money from the pentagon, ending all foreign conflicts immediately, bringing back the EPA, Planned Parenthood, living wages for ALL, increased taxes on the wealthy, increased government transparency, complete return of all constitutional rights, return of Glass-Steagall, free college for all, taxation of churches, separation of church and state, term limits, congressional pay cuts, and tying congressional salaries to that of the average wage of their district, will be what I consider an act of war against this country.
No one really need worry about me. I’m a broke as shit 45-year-old woman with crippling RA, rotting teeth, no access to health care, so I have already been pre-selected for a long torturous extraction and haven’t the strength to carry out violence. I also firmly believe that violence is not going to fix this. Compassion is. Compassion is the answer.
Right now, there are millions just like me. We were the ones that were just one catastrophe away and as luck would have it, we got a handful. We need to see that if we step out of our cages and love our neighbors, grow a garden, raise chickens, raise a pig or two, maybe even goats. This system is meant to chew us up and spit us out. We do not need it. Step away from the system. It is killing us for real. We can do this. Most of us just want to be happy and healthy with friends and family surrounding them. Let’s grow our families into compassionate groups that care for each other without the need for our own violent oppression.
Kill or care, it really is that simple. This is a call to action. This is a call to life. This is a call to love. We must awaken as a mass citizenry that will no longer tolerate their oppression. They may kill me but there are many more. Nurses, take back your hospitals. Doctors, invest in the health of your local community. Teachers, take back your schools and make them a hub for the community that surrounds you by educating everyone to live for each other. Citizens, take back your cities and rebuild the infrastructure to work for all. We have the power to make money obsolete. Then where would those people, whom are trying to gather it all for themselves, be able to go. They are banking on our apathy to ensure our destruction. Wake up to the truth and stop this mass genocide.
Little Eddie was quickly going through the kitchen looking for some nuts, cereal, stale chips but wasn’t finding anything. Eddie at eleven expected as much. Since his mom had left them, Eddie’s dad was having a hard time knowing that a grocery list needed to be more than just beer and whiskey. Eddie just figured it would take his dad a long time to learn it. Eddie always took longer to learn new things than anyone else. He didn’t have a lot of friends because he was so slow at learning things. He just thought that his dad would take a long time learning to do mommy things.
Eddie missed his mother. She was so pretty and kind. She was very kind to her boy Eddie. She would always make sure to pick up bird seed for Eddie to feed to the crows. “I got snacks for you and your raven haired friends,” she would call as she was coming up from the drive with groceries.
Eddie tugged on his sleeves and pulled the ends to fit neatly between each finger. He always did this when he got nervous. He knew his dad would scream at him for stretching out the sleeves. It was 3:30 in the afternoon. He knew he had an hour and a half before his dad got home from work. He was starting to get a little frantic. He could feel sweat starting to dampen the space between his chest and his shirt.
He looked up past the kitchen toward the living room. He could see an opened, mostly empty beer bottle laying near his dad’s easy chair. Then his face brightened. He could feel his heart jump with joy at his discovery. It wasn’t the best thing to feed his friends but it was something. Eddie never wanted to see his dark, little friends go hungry. They brought such lovely gifts for him. He always made sure that they got food and water.
He ambled into the living room and furiously began gathering pieces of broken potato chips off the floor to deposit back into the bag in order to feed his friends. His favorite time of day was this time. It didn’t matter what the weather was. Eddie lived for this moment. They really were his only friends, now that his mom had left. He got more excited as he filled the chip bag back up.
He was so excited that he stumbled on his feet as he was getting up. That didn’t stop him. He ran through the kitchen and out the sliding glass door to the backyard. He was out on the porch before he knew it. His friends were beginning to gather. Their tiny gifts in either their claws or beaks, depending on the size and weight of each surprise for Eddie.
Eddie wouldn’t accept the gifts until after he had provided his guests with fresh water and something to eat. He was very orderly about how things went in this tiny urban backyard. The trees were saying goodbye to winter with tiny green buds peeking out the edge of branches. The weeds were just beginning to emerge in sporadic clumps about the dry, dirt landscape. The circle of bird droppings on the ground near the old, rustic, broken down wooden table Eddie used to put the food and water bowls for the birds on, reflected the light and warmth coming from the sun.
Eddie giggled as the crows began to touch down next to the bowl. The biggest of the group and Eddie’s favorite was the one Eddie called Iron Man. His favorite super hero. The extraordinarily large example of crow that Eddie called Iron Man was indeed formidable. He was just a tiny little juvenile a year ago. Eddie delighted in his transformation from bottom of the barrel to top of the heap. Eddie used to feed him first because he was so small. Now, Iron Man ate first because he fought for it. He used his beak and wings to beat back any challengers as he stretched forward to accept Eddie’s offering. The mashed up bits of chips did not go as far as he had wanted it. They only reached the middle of the small plastic dog bowl he found in the alley by his school. The chips were gone just as Eddie finished filling their water.
Eddie heard his dad’s car pull into the drive and he began to panic. He began to panic because his dad hated the crows. Eddie wasn’t allowed to use daddy’s words for the crows. He wouldn’t anyway because they were mean, hurtful words.
He was frozen with fear when he saw the silhouette of his father with a shotgun in the sliding glass door. His heart began to beat hard and fast against his chest. “No! Daddy, they’re my friends”
Before Eddie could speak another word a shot rang out. “Get outta here! Fucking birds! Go on, get! Filthy fucking vermin!” Feathers and the bodies of two of Eddie’s crow friends hit the ground with a thump. His father stumbling down the porch steps, running fiercely towards Eddie.
Iron Man quickly swooped down towards Eddie’s father and scratched his face with his claw. Eddie’s father touched his face and looked down at the blood on his hand. It enraged him and he began to swing the shotgun wildly trying to get a shot off at the crow that attacked him. Iron Man didn’t flinch but came at Eddie’s father again. This time missing the face and getting a piece of his shirt in his talons.
Iron Man drew blood once again. The other crows, sensing the tide turning began to follow the lead of the biggest crow and surrounded Eddie’s dad in a cloak of black feathers. Eddie could hear his father’s screams as he attempted to fight off the birds. Eddie just stood there frozen in fear and delight. He delighted at the idea of such small creatures being able to take on such a large and mean man. He was afraid his friends might turn on him but he was stuck in place. Even if he had wanted his dad to be saved from the birds’ attack, he was unable to move.
Eddie could hear his father‘s voice weaken as the crows kept up their attack. His father’s screams turned to pleas, then turned to grunts to breaths to nothing as the crows flew up off of the pile. Eddie’s father lay there on the dirty ground in a heap of blood and guts.
Iron Man flew gently to Eddie and laid his dad’s eyeball on the table in front of him. Iron Man then came to rest on his friend Eddie’s shoulder.