Jayne Martin

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron

Let church bells ring out across
the land of the free as 


We lower our bullet-torn children
into the blood-soaked ground of a nation
held hostage by the gods of Glock, and
Smith and Wesson.

By a government on its knees 
before the crotch of the NRA.

A nation built by a white patriarchy 
for a white patriarchy,
gifting us a legacy of violence.

We declare our right to bear arms sacred!
While we trod upon the rights of life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness

And we call it freedom.

Gone the right to send our children safely to school
Gone the right to shop for our family’s meal
Gone the right to gather together in prayer
Gone the right to attend a concert, a movie 

To march in a parade honoring this country’s birth.
Ignorance, the fertile ground
where evil flourishes.

A wildfire stoked by the fears of cowards
who hide their faces, goose-step 
through our streets draped in the
American flag and call themselves

Who stroke the barrel of their AK47 
as another mother’s knees sink
in newly-turned dirt

And a nation dies.