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Call to Action


It was a normal day for the affected students;

Beginning with math and english and history

And ending with one fist to the teeth

And a head through a window

On the second floor; shattered glass

Spread at the feet of a crowd

Who scattered as the blood began

To flow from above someone's left eye.

To students and staff who know nothing else

The consequent spitting out of teeth and the

Bright red trail from the window to the ambulance

Was like a scene from a movie watched too many times:

A repetition, boring and meaningless,

Failing to disturb its desensitized viewers.

In such a way the realities of lasting hatred

And fear embedded in hot blooded veins

Are brought forth regularly and laid out

In drops of blood on high school stairways.

They scream to remind us that we are not doing enough;

That we are only scratching the surface of this monster called violence

And that we will never end the fights unless we reach deeper

Beneath its skin; beneath its bones and into its veins

To find the origins of the diseases that allow

This hatred to thrive and survive.

But these blatant exhibitions are conveniently

And consistently ignored.

If such young bodies can regularly

Burst through barriers and break open the skin

Why can't we?

What is stopping us from recognizing

Our own fingerprints in the blood left on the walls;

From admitting our role in generation after generation of failure?

Why do we shield our eyes when the injured are led away

In handcuffs, spitting out cries for help

In the form of angry words and empty threats?

Just as there are layers of veins and cells

And bones beneath the skin

There are years of pain

Abandonment, confusion and ignorance

Beneath these brawls.

In these stale scenes a solution waits to be found;

Begs for us to dig deeper and try harder;

Pleads for an end to apathy and a

Stronger commitment to healing the diseases

That make violence a chronic part of life. 

I wrote this poem in response to the immense amount of violence that exists in the lives of the students with whom I work at my internship. There are some very passionate feelings and ideas behind this poem, and I'm thinking about reading it at an open mic night next week--my first reading at an open mic night ever! Thus I want to make it good, and make sure I'm getting my point across, so I would really appreciate feedback, even if you just leave me a comment telling me how the poem makes you feel or what it makes you think of. The one thing that I'm really struggling with is the ending. It feels very abrupt but I can't seem to figure out how to change it. What do you think?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 4th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
in my opinion the abruptness seems to fit the subject of the poem though. violance is usually very abrupt.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )