I think about how twenty-five years ago my dad took his gun got in his truck to go hunt down the kid driver who caused the car accident that killed my baby brother. My dad told me later, he was in his truck with his gun, weary from trauma and no sleep— who could sleep after such a tragedy?— grief ridden, traumatized when he was stopped by a train coming down the tracks. The railroad guard rails held him back for the three minutes of pause it took for my dad to come to his senses. Come to his senses. Maybe he thought, how much more pain and trauma and death does one want to cause out of twisted anger, tortured deepest hurt like your heart is being ripped from the middle of your chest cavity. I wonder now, how does killing repair, resolve anything?
Anything can become a weapon.
harsh enough can
cut a person’s heart
kill their soul
Harsh words tamed can heal, renew
wielded in terror can
crush a skull
break a hand
The iron skillet can hold food to nourish
broken into shards can
Filled, the cup can soothe a weary mind
shoots to maim
aims to kill
A gun in the right hands might protect.
Automatic Assault Weapon?
with a magazine coupler
that in one round bludgeons
the lives of 30 human beings?
Its sole purpose to slaughter en masse
Our precious children, our devoted teachers in school,
our wise elders in the grocery,
our faithful worshipers in the temple, in the church,
as long as assault weapons are
in untrained unwell civilian hands
We are not free.
We are moving targets.
Karen R. Clark
May 25, 2022
Until background checks are enforced, the purchase of semi-automatic assault weapons by civilians must stop.
These measures will not bring back the lives that have been lost. Nothing can heal the gut wrenching pain and forever broken hearts of loved ones left behind.
But they might save lives and someday return our nation to compassion for each and every citizen’s hope to pursue happiness.
VOTE OUT ANYONE BACKED BY THE NRA (National Rifle Association) AND ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) EACH AND EVERY ONE— OUT!
Born in 1956 in Hammond, IN, USA, Karen reflects here upon her life and career as a teacher and performer. Karen's family heritage stems from the farming and railroading community in southeastern Kentucky to the steel industry of the Calumet Region in northwest Indiana. Karen's path includes singing country harmonies with her family, opera studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, a singing career in medieval and new music, and teaching posts in music departments to include Princeton University and UC Berkeley. Karen R. Clark (contralto) lives in California north of San Francisco where petals fall in Petaluma.