National Poetry Month: The Lie We Live (3 of 30)

It's National Poetry Month. I will be posting a poem each day. No theme. I'm just going to follow the spark each day, wherever I might find it. It's bound to be messy. 

Columbus Dispatch Article: Congress confronts limits of gun law
Columbus Dispatch Article 4.3.23

                     The Lie We Live 

I sit with my coffee, pouring over poetry, the
warmth of both soothing the soul. The coffee-
shop, full of chatter, suddenly quiets as a man,
g*n at his side, enters. He pushes the glass

door open like the men in the wild west shows
I once watched sitting on my grandma's sofa,
when I thought I was born into a world that 
had learned the value of humanity and practiced
solving problems with words instead of w*#pons;

the naivety of childhood, a gift no longer given.
The chatter quiets to a silence as everyone
notes his arrival. Is this the day we all become A 
HEADLINE? I glance at my poetry, pretending 
this might not be the day, but noting every exit
and planning every move from trainings cemented
in my head as I cowered with children in corners

pretending this would keep us safe. He's a small
man - why do they always seem like small men? -
though his chest puffs as he enters, invincible in his
mind to the dangers of a coffee shop where he
is the only danger. How has this become my
life? How has his right to carry a g*n in public

become more important than my right 
to live without them in public spaces?
I pretend to not watch his every move as I go 
back to my poetry: the only thing that might
truly save this world. 

© Cathy L. Mere, 2023


  1. Yikes. (But perfectly captured moment. I like how you refused to dignify g*n and w*#pons.)


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