Really, it's happened again?
How many times do we have to see
Families torn asunder
Friends ripped away from friends
Communities burying their young
Places of business, schools, churches
Turned into memorials for the fallen
Like they were sites of war battles
The new Gettysburgs are Sandy Hook, Columbine, Parkland.
How many lists of names
Do we need to see scroll on the evening news?
How many more tears of those left behind
Do we have to see before we fill a dam?
How many more times
Must we listen to the inept
Tell us it's not time for the conversation
That it's too complicated to solve
That it was a lone terrorist act
That it would restrict our rights
As if life, liberty and pursuit of happiness
Weren't really guaranteed for the dead
Only for the gun lobby that puts
Dirty dollars in their pockets
So that they can pretend to care
So that nothing really changes
While their fat cat aristocrats
Bathe in blood of the innocent
All in the name of the Constitution
As if it were never amended or changed
How long will they make us all slaves to the almighty gun?
When will we rise up and break the chains?
John Koetzner lives in Healdsburg.
Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write firstname.lastname@example.org.