“After Sandy Hook”

A friend from college, Matt Mason, posted this piece on his facebook page today.  He graciously allowed me to share the poem here.

This piece is a raw, heartfelt response to yet another mass shooting in America that happened in Florida.  Remembering back to 2012…Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, 20 six and seven year old children were shot to death.  What’s happened since?  What has changed?

“After Sandy Hook” (a poem)

After Sandy Hook,
they placed little bodies
under mounds in the earth
like a ritual
from Homer
but was, really, only more funerals.

After Sandy Hook, we looked
for America
to emerge as something better.
It rained.
Days had the audacity
to tick and tock along.

After Sandy Hook, parents grieved
while strangers put flowers and stuffed animals on their children’s graves,
and actual human beings
called them fake, vomited curses into phones at them, willingly
became the monsters who live under beds.

After Sandy Hook, Wayne LaPierre lamented
how if there’s no Good Guy
with a Gun to fight the Bad Guy with a Gun
then he’s only sold one gun.

And after Sandy Hook, America
bought guns.
Bought guns.
Bought guns.
Bought guns.

After Sandy Hook,
what was the point?
After Sandy Hook,
we saw the worst
humanity could dish out—
That’s what we thought, at least,
and when nothing changed,
we understood
we had reached somewhere worse.

After Sandy Hook,
we surrendered, we went through
the motions, but, come on,
we saw ourselves
for the shit we are, mirrored
in the shit standing as our representation.

After Sandy Hook, our heads
couldn’t drop the first grader’s words,
Mommy, I’m okay,
but all my friends are dead,
after Sandy Hook,
we could not forget the teacher who rushed to lock her classroom door
who never reached it,
the other teacher’s body on top of a six year-old’s body to save him.
But he died, too.

After Sandy Hook, poets waited
to see what grows from such small graves.
They’re still waiting.

And after Sandy Hook, America
bought guns.

Matt Mason is the Executive Director at Nebraska Writers Collective, and lives in Omaha.

If you’d like to contact Matt, you can reach him via email: mtmason@gmail.com



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