For the innocent/Loss of innocence

If only for a moment I stood on the edge,
some might say
My stomach acids
I closed my mouth
afraid of what might come out.

If only for a moment I stood on the edge,
Some might say
My eyes wide open
allowing myself the ability
required to
run or perhaps
But I stood and did neither.

If only for a moment I stood on the edge,
envy filling me as
fueled their every move,
every word.
Their sad and angry song
filled my ears.
Hands reaching deep inside me
as if they felt the need to find
what held me back.

If only for a moment I stood on the edge,
my heart giving way to the pain they felt.
Visions that I could now see.
Visions that had to be stopped.
Emotional energy erupting into volcanic escalation
giving voices to
those without words who themselves would surely be crying.
To stop the needless slaughter of
The Innocent

If only for a moment I stood on the edge,
feeling that I too could give power.
And as I watched an army of uniforms
file down the concrete grass
I stepped off the edge
in front of them.
Joining arms with those whose voices
vibrated in chants for peace.

If only for a moment I stood beside them,
feeling the power,
being part of a cause,
But pride is too often without time.
And power is often without strength.
As canisters of tear gas broke
Our conviction did not falter,
pushing the uniformed men who fired them into
Angered at their
inability to control.
Growing their fear of what they might become.
Using the only tool that their weak and pitiful beings knew
Without care
Without thought
they fired,
Bullets cutting through sounds of
Failed restraint.

I let myself fall to the ground,
Not sure if I even chose protection as my goal
For it was the needless slaughter of
That was right here.

Audrey N Lewis is the author of an award-winning collection of short stories and has recently had short stories published in Short Story Town, Weird Mask Magazine and Evolving. Her poems have been in Cephalopress and Directions. Read other articles by Audrey N..