Two poems by Jennifer Lagier

Thoughts and Prayers

 ‘Really angry’ gunman who killed 3 at Gilroy Garlic Festival cut fence, shot randomly for less than a minute.” – USA Today

While I attend a Monterey poetry reading where
two Latino poets promote love and unity,
one more furious white man cuts through a fence,
with his automatic rifle, shoots down
fifteen festival attendees, killing three,
including a six-year-old boy,
thirteen-year old girl.

When will we, as a nation,
discontinue spewing useless aphorisms,
no longer facilitate poison
seeping into hearts and minds,
bind wounds, staunch hatred,
reject division, halt wanton bleeding?

When do we quit mouthing platitudes,
lance festering resentments,
drain away sickness, cauterize anger,
make America safe and sane again,
put rational adults
in charge of our healing?

Please, no more thoughts and prayers.
We need moral leadership, action.


What They Have Given Us

Conspiracy theories.
Gutted environmental protections.
Refusal to consider gun control
despite constituent pleas,
weekly mass murders.

Tariffs and trade wars.
Corruption, cruelty,
xenophobia, sex crimes.
Turning a blind eye
to more Russian hacking.

Nepotism, malfeasance.
Women and immigrant bashing.
Rising white supremacy.
Cavalier hate speech
dividing the nation.

Pay-offs to corporate funders.
Dismantling the social safety net.
Transforming ICE and the DOJ
into a third-world junta
composed of goon squads.

Appointment of the least competent
and most sadistic to positions of power.
Incentive for revolution.
Justification for impeachment,
indictments, violent upheaval.


Jennifer Lagier has published fifteen books, edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium readings. Newest books: Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle Press), Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press), Camille Mobilizes (FutureCycle Press). Forthcoming book: Trumped Up Election (Xi Draconis Books).

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