No Escape

No Escape

You can call it whatever you want,
put whatever label on it you like,
but nothing makes the end result
any less bitter.
                           You can close your eyes,
vow to keep your mouth shut, turn and
turn and turn away from the truth
but, in the end, there’s really no escape:

he was only seven years old, maybe less,
and he’d been shot through the neck.

And your mother can still love you,
and your girlfriend or your wife
or your brothers and your sisters
can still love you, but some nights,
around midnight, you remember:

he was only seven, maybe less,
and that’s as old as he’d ever be.

dVerse Poets
Open Link Night #278


21 thoughts on “No Escape

  1. It might be a knee-jerk reaction to close ranks when a child does something unforgivable, but it’s still wrong. Parents who stand by their children and deny they did anything wrong are probably why their kids are so amoral in the first place. Very powerful poem.

  2. This is visceral in its pain. What a tragic thing to have happen to a child…to be the instrument of death. Yes….as said by Merril, this sends shivers down my spine.

  3. I once worked on a project doing portraits of children killed by gunfire as a keepsake for their families. I can still see Akeal’s face–and it was no substitute for the real thing. (K)

  4. This poem conveys a harsh reality which we need to come face to face with. The horrors in the world must come to an end. Let there be light!

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