Dead at Half-Mast

I’ve been super inspired from the youth in the US being agents in change. It’s so cool to watch them step forward to create the world they want to live in.

Poetry is a weird thing for me. Sometimes, I have to go through a long process to get the poem worked out. Other times, the poems fall right out of my head and I just need to put pen to paper. Shortly after the Parkland shooting, I drove past Ogden High and flag was at half-mast and started to cry. I made it to Kaffe Merc and pulled out my laptop. This poem fell out of my head. It is in honor of those students who are standing up for their rights to go to school without the fear of being shot dead.

Dead at Half-Mast

I drove by Ogden High where the flag is at half mast
It broke my heart and rage rose up from my gut
How can we even fly the flag right now with kids getting killed in the classroom?
It’s a stain on our nation!

Oh, you might say that’s a disrespect to our soldiers.
But isn’t worse that we send out soldiers to protect our nation, but we can’t keep their children safe at home?

I’m tired of the labels – it’s guns, it’s mental illness, it’s lack of respect, it’s lack of discipline of our kids
These labels are symptoms – I’m afraid it is much worse.
Right now our nation is diseased  and that disease is weaponized.
Salve on the wound won’t work.

Time for the dirty work to figure out what the fuck is wrong with us as a nation.
How we get so involved in the blame game.
To avoiding looking deep within the sickly soul of our nation.
The blood is on each of our hands and this game to avoid responsibility isn’t working.
Our children are dying!

No matter what the talking heads say, we can’t make america great again until we stop this bloodshed.
Our society makes it so easy to dehumanize another.
A nation that assigns different lives different values.

Born in a constitution that defined wealthy white male landowners as valuable, and everyone else not.
With each mini-revolution trying to redefine who might also have value
But at out nation’s core is a desire to dehumanize another to establish value
That dehumanization is done through violence.

I’ve seen the question – do guns have more value than our children.
I want to vomit.
But until we face the hard questions
It’s time de-weaponize the disease.

My heart does swell to watch the youth stand up and yell.
They aren’t afraid to fight for change.
Question the adults on how they hide from this disease.
These kids are our future. Let them lead the fight.
So one day they can stand with pride and know they won’t die
Under a flag hung at half-mast at their school