God weeps

flags are half-staff at the capitol & everywhere
red stripes tell blood; today not of revolutionaries
but children, ours, because they are all
our children, just learning letters & numbers,
sight words, how to run & today how to die

all we had to learn was how to hide under desks.
this drill is a new one; no siren but gunshots
& there is no way to practice for this,
the fastest way to hide in corners
while the teacher locks the door

the right way to walk out of school
after gun shots, eyes closed and linked,
hands on the shoulders of the child ahead
a breathing chain of what is precious;
this is what we must teach our children,
because they are our children, all of them,
fallen & live–the ones we hold grateful
& the ones we are just beginning
to mourn.  This losing has everything
to do with second amendments
& nothing of taking God out of school,
because the One tho sees all weeps, invited
or not.

“We heard loud booms

& the teacher told us to hide
in the corners”

There are no words for this,
there is no defense & politics
do not apply to these small spaces
with big pain added up.  We count loss here
not in lives but places, because the numbers
are numbing, too many to remember
at once, but we need to say each name,
not wadded into a ball of a place
as one.

They are all our children, our parents,
brothers & sisters.

To tell it
is to meet the gorgon’s eyes.  We are stone
falling to the floor harder than gravity allows.

“I was out in the hall
when everybody heard the bullets.  

they went into a total panic.”  

little boy who said this, how do you feel
about  guns don’t kill people, people kill people
what do you know of the right to bear arms?
the right to bear arms breaks down
6 adults & 20 children, dead:
Sacrificed to what god?
Not mine.

Anne Marie Murphy
Lauren Rousseau
Mary Sherlach
Victoria “Vicki” Soto
Rachel Davino
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeline F. Hsu, 6
Catherine Violet Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 6
EmilIe Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6

******Pingbacks.  Normally I enjoy it when someone wants to share my work, as a reference to what inspired him/her to write something.  However, when someone takes a poem like God Weeps and uses it to back up some insane grumbling about how gun control does not work in Australia, this yank chick gets hopping mad.  So–feel free to use my poetry, if it does not go against EVERYTHING you are saying in your posts, please.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to God weeps

  1. paulaacton says:

    I did actually end up posting last night after seeing some comments on facebook from people rushing to defend their right to bear arms it may sound terribly sexist but things but I really believe it will take the mothers of this world to stand together and say enough before this sort of tragedy becomes a time of the past 😦 http://paulaacton.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/newtown-our-hearts-break-for-you/

    • I hope not just the mothers. We have some wise men out there that do not see guns as phallic extensions, I hope. Even here, the home of the cowboy. Shame.

      • paulaacton says:

        yes but there is so much pressure on men to be a ‘man’ that I think that they have actually forgotten what it means to be one in many cases, they grow up playing with guns, competing at sports but the reason I say mothers is imagine if every mother in the world refused to allow their child to bear arms against another, if every woman declared they did not spend hours in agony bringing a child into this world to let life be held so cheap, that bond between mother and child, the umbilical cord which holds so long after it is cut, that I truly believe is the lifeline for our childrens children

        • All political correctness aside, Paula, yes. There is a power and a presence in motherhood. Put that way, perhaps we can then break through the lunacy that is prevalent everywhere. Point taken, and you are right.

  2. boomiebol says:

    Powerful Susan… I pray our voices are heard… The powers that be understand what needs to be done and do it…

    Powerful stuff here

  3. mobius faith says:


  4. This was very well done, it captures a true sense of the tragedy while holding up a mirror to our society. With the rush for some poets to express and post, u think this is one of the few that seems more thoughtful and expressive.

  5. ruleofstupid says:

    I don’t even know what to say. It’s good that you speak it, we have to make something better from it.

  6. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    I really feel that you have approached this subject well. Your words and the structure of this poem are straightforward and do not pull punches. I also appreciate how you bring the words of the eye witnesses into account as testimonials.

    What struck me as I read this was how your tone sounds like your are giving evidence at a hearing. The emotion is there but a loyalty to presenting the evidence comes first. The emotion need not be overstated because you are speaking directly to what has happened and not dodging it through religious or ideological language which is, after all, all too often little more than borrowed cliches and soundbites.

    What I find powerful here is your word choice, your careful expression of evidence and the questions you have surrounding the evidence. If anything, I sense the emotion driving your the words but not leading them and that is a mature and I think far more meaningful approach.

    • Jeremy–thanking you for the thoughtful comments.

      As always, your words take the poem to its center. I initially asked Noel and Boomie to write this with me, as I did not think one voice was large enough. Turns out that it was. The only thing this poem is missing, to me, are the first names of those that died yesterday. As of yet, those are not released yet, so I can’t include them, but I think the poem needs them to address the line in here about needing to remember names, and not places and numbers. A hard poem to write, but we need to write these, or at least I think I do.

  7. Miriam E. says:

    Susan, this is so intense.
    How horrifying it was to hear of a tragedy like this yet again.
    Children. Just thinking about it makes my throat constrict.
    You have done a wonderful job here – I can’t even imagine how painful it must have been to write something like this. I admire your strong, steady voice.

  8. jmgoyder says:

    Oh the names – such beautiful names.

  9. nelle says:

    Seven and six. One, a twin.

    Will their memory, will our failures, will they be enough to keep this from being one in a chain touching every state? When will we decide enough is enough?

    We’ve crossed some line that makes guns more valued that children or the right to decide what we do with our bodies. One gender asserted itself in the last election. The latest poll I saw from August shows a distinct gender divide on guns. It is time we assert ourselves again, for this society is half ours, and we don’t want babies murdered.

  10. Powerful and poignant. The names of the kids brought tears to my eyes. My goodness, Susan this was so sensless. Indeed, at such times, one cannot help to ask ‘Where is our God whom we serve?’ We can only consloe ourselves and say He knows best. May their little souls find rest in the bosom of heaven.

  11. Pingback: Disgruntled but unarmed woman flies to Australia to beat someone with a bag or oranges. | Susan Daniels Poetry

  12. sonofwalt says:

    Thank you for this. I have as yet been unable to write about this on my blog.

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