Uvalde: May 24, 2022

Sounds of rifle fire crack open the heart
at an elementary school again.
Classroom chairs empty of daughters and sons.

Children shot in a lesson plan made in
deranged anger, depressed and apart
through disappointed failure – a false start

seen by eyes unable to read beyond Cain,
who plotted the first murder without guns.
Twenty-one crosses call from the ground.

Why are we unable to hear their sound?
Torrents of gun rights drown us in a flood,
providing AR-15’s to disturbed teens,

who turn white boards into splattered blood.
Lives robbed: voices echo through shattered pain.
The Republic is ruled by cowards and fiends.

Kemmer Anderson walks his dog along the Trail of Tears in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has walked the streets of East Jerusalem in 1971, '83, 98, and 2015. Read other articles by Kemmer.