Target Practice

You need a new shirt.
You drive to Target,
to gleaming aisles
abundant with shiny,
sweat shop bargains.

You overlook
injustice because
you’re broke and
it’s all you can
afford, lashed like
most to that burning
anvil of hope sinking
into the great and
bloody Seas of Profit.

You trudge on
into men’s clothing,
searching for the right
shirt, when they turn
the corner and move
your way: the lunatic,
American Zeitgeist
as portrayed by three
young, white women
with kids in tow
and trusty assault
rifles slung across
their backs.

Modern day Deadwood
madness stares you
in the face; cold, blank
eyes blink at your
disbelief, at your fear.
Threat and menace
the names they have
taken with pride.

You know there’re
no words to bridge
the chasm between
you and them, no
reasonable discourse
shall stay their violent
desires, so you want
only to be elsewhere.

In a country where
the heart hasn’t
lost its way, where
sanity has to do
with peace and
guns have no place
in everyday social
convention, where
walking billboards
for murder and mayhem
like these deranged
Wild West re-enactors
don’t exist, never
existed and shall
never, never exist.

Someplace far, far away.

Paul Lojeski's poetry has appeared in journals and online. He’s also the author of the satiric novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup. He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY. Read other articles by Paul.