by Cari Oleskewicz

Lay down your gun, oh civilized soldier.
You don't want to see what you've done.
And lay down your rhetoric, oh vile betrayer,
refusing to embrace your own blame.
Panic and screaming, the terror all boiling,
dead children bring pleadings for why.
Answers simplistic, they float by like dust,
escaping the gossip and crime scene.

How can we hate him, the one who is shooting,
the one who we've bred and we've trained.
So skinny, so vacant, but not so his anger.
So helpless, so desperate to roar.
He is not a monster, not evil or foolish,
and the devil does not work this way.
This quiet boy, who now gives up a future,
this tempest, your neighbor and son.

And you who condemn him, who cluck and who judge,
might pause before casting your stones.
Especially "leaders" with warplanes and bombs
who count executions their own.
We tell them don't shoot, we tell them play nice,
we say read your Bible and pray.
Until the time comes that we hand you a weapon
and tell you it's different this time.

Camera crews, talk shows, speeches and specials,
This boy's not alone chasing fame.
Questions and theories, the hows haunt the whys
blame t.v., the parents and schools.
For who among us, so proud and self-righteous,
who dares to arouse now the truth?
Who dares so simply, to say we've become this,
to defend apathetic acceptance?

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