Again. Not Again.

Fear, overwhelmingly, an
immediate response. Anxiety,
internally, and eternally now
the reaction to the ever-increasing
random acts of hatred.
Undue violence, a surprise,
but not. Not now. Not again.
Just another headline.
Just another day. Death doled out
in syncopated sound bites,
images flooding our screens
between messages of love
on Valentine’s Day, snapshots
of sunsets, carefree kittens,
and a selfie of somebody trying
to make it through another day.
Again. Of course we ask why,
and then remember the last time.
Was it seventeen or eighteen?
Again. Not again.
The outpouring of emotion,
global grief. Hardened hearts
giving in to anger at the event,
and the hypothesis of why, but
mostly the calculated misgivings
of those who know better,
but refuse to express the cause
of their inaction. Again.
Troubled times; that was long ago.
This is more. Greater. Further.
Deeper. We’ve lost life, and most
everything else a just society is
capable of. We cannot lose hope.
Not now. Not yet. Not again.
Prayers go unanswered, laws
remain unchanged, and this
dark shadow obscures our vision
as we watch. As we grieve.
Just another headline. Another
image. Not another life. Not again.
What have we learned? Questions
will form, and answers will follow,
but when?
©2018 j.g. lewis

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