315 Today – A Poem about Gun Violence

315 Today*: A Poem About Gun Violence

By Leah D. Schade

"Shot" AK Rockefeller. Some rights reserved. flickr.com
“Shot” AK Rockefeller. Some rights reserved. flickr.com

Hot grey seed

shot into pliant flesh

yields a ruby bud

blossomed into red petals.

Is this our harvest?

A crop of stilled hearts.

Blood Rose by Nicolas Raymond. Some rights reserved. flickr.com
Blood Rose by
Nicolas Raymond. Some rights reserved. flickr.com

To hold the metal of judgment

in your hands;

To learn the intricacies

of the mechanism

that finally comes down to your finger

folding around this smooth curve.

It is weakness ashamed

of its ineptitude

that thrills in firing a bullet

faster than God can blink.

“Let the one who is without sin . . .”

It is the coward’s way

to end the conversation

with your own humanity.

This machine-with-one-purpose

is the lie we have told ourselves

to compensate for our fear.

The stronger way

is to pierce your soul with a shard

from the mirror that shattered

upon Abel’s impact.

The more courageous way

is to confront that stained reflection

and weep the tears

that may yet loosen the long-dried layers of loathing.

Photo credit: r. nial bradshaw. Some rights reserved. flickr.com
Photo credit: r. nial bradshaw. Some rights reserved. flickr.com

The truth

lies somewhere

in the distance between

your curving finger

and the flesh of the body you are about to fell,

forgetting

it is your own.

* 315 is the number of people shot in America every day.

Tell Me Just ONE Thing You Will Do to Prevent Gun Deaths


Leah D. Schade

Leah D. Schade is the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary (Kentucky) and author of the book Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015).

Twitter: @LeahSchade

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeahDSchade/.

Read also: Worshiping the Gun God is Killing Us

On the 8th Day, God Created Guns: A Reading from the Gun Bible

Preventing Gun Deaths – Tell Me Just ONE Thing You Will Do

To learn more about how you can help end gun violence, check out these links:

Everytown for Gun Safety

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence

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