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Suffer the Children

by Chris Sorrenti

In the face
Of such senseless horror
And tragedy
We all become children
In our own minds
Once again chased
By a real boogie man
Made all the more monstrous
In that his own face changes
From incident to incident
Growing exponentially
In its frequency

Who knows no moral boundary
Geographical confinement
Though he appears in some places
More often than others
But why must it take the death
Of more than one child?
To awaken us
From our complacent slumber

So what do we do?
Arm every parent, teacher and principal?
In a panic to avoid the next time
Or apply common sense
In baby steps
As has always been the American way

True we have the right to bear arms
Burned into the constitution
But when our forefathers
Signed their John Hancocks
To the document
The world was a very different place
Doubtful any of them envisioned
Assault rifles

With flags at half mast
Once more we turn to the President
Members of Congress
For action
Will they finally put partisanship
Special interest groups aside?
Do what’s right for the country
Or are they prepared to go on
With the same dreary rhetoric?
Useless thoughts and prayers
Now with blood on their hands
Until that next visit of the boogie man
As young and old
Suffer the children

© 2012
Revised © 2018

 photo Make Sweet 16s Not AR-15s RED40.jpg

850 hits as of October 2021


Author's Note: Published in the anthology, Make Sweet 16s Not AR-15s. Produced by Don Kingfisher Campbell, Spectrum Publishing, Los Angeles, California, April 2018.

Posted on 12/15/2012
Copyright © 2021 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by George Hoerner on 12/16/12 at 12:13 AM

Nothing will get through Congress, even if it does get a start. The reasons will run the course but baically all boil down to "i we wait long enough they'll forget". And that is correct, we always forget! Call it colateral damage from life whether it be in some US city, or a Middle Eastern couontry, or African jungle. Our society is driven by individual egotism that believes it can do no wrong and if does it is really OK. I still like the write.

Posted by Julie Adams on 12/16/12 at 01:21 AM

Kudos for addressing this difficult subject Chris, and how....esp in the wake of the latest tragedy yesterday...on the subject matter, I too have questioned what you do in the 2nd to last stanza, the right is definitely outdated, so nice to see I wasn't the only one thinking it's time to revise...if not now, 20 children and 6 women massacred, then when. Hugs, jewels xoxox

Posted by Brian Francis on 12/16/12 at 01:59 AM

Here here Good write - well said. But don't hold your breath for help from within the beltway. Their heads are in a deep dark place and their sphincters have cut off the blood flow to their brains.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 12/16/12 at 03:29 AM

You've put to paper important issues after such an event as this. I think the use of the "boogie man" is very effective - it takes me to my brother and his common threat when I was a youngster. Where is the balance to control the unbalanced among us? Thanks, Chris.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 12/17/12 at 03:41 PM

thank you for this, Chris

Posted by Joan Serratelli on 12/18/12 at 12:15 AM

I think about it- I cry. Why did these children die? Senseless slaughter- A madman, a coward- you nailed it. I wish it never happened- Thanks for the read.

Posted by A. Paige White on 12/19/12 at 02:32 PM

"Once more we turn to the President Members of Congress For action" Beautiful poem, describing one side of a heartwrenching, gut twisting event. I have to depart from your thoughts other than there, though. I do not see where appealing to any president or government official would have given any shooter the input, the interaction with real people that was obviously needed to help steer away from this road. My family hunts. They take great joy and pride in hunting. They take great joy in their right to bear arms. Personally I think its a privilege but it's stated as a right. You know why? Because some of us regular people still use them to supplement our food costs. Yea. Some of us country folks really still do that. Regularly. And we get upset when we hear anyone talking about taking away our right to feed our families, on less, thanks to higher taxes! Because they can't balance a check book... by all means, lets go to these people who are so wise and ask them to help us figure it all out... instead of where the real answer lies, people reaching out to hurting people with a listening ear, a helping hand and avoid such tragedies. I'll get off my soapbox now. Sorry Chris, but this kind of talk always gets my redneck sore. My belt must be a little tighter than usual, cutting off the bloodflow to my brain.

Posted by A. Paige White on 12/19/12 at 03:13 PM

p.s. all those millions of hollow point rounds our government is buying up, against the geneva convention, (for use against who?) will get used up on us appalachian amerians, very likely, leaving the rest of the americans safe and sound, free from worry about crazies like us who just want the rights we were brought up with, safely and in peace. What's changed? What's feeding the minds of the young now-a-days, densensitising them to death and cruelty, I wonder.... hmmmm... must be the right to bear arms!

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