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When Will It End?

What fear binds you so tightly to the cold steel of the gun?

Are you really the hunter, the hero, that won't turn

and run?

Do you know what you'll do in the face of the storm,

As the bullets fly past, the screams silenced, hearts torn.

What makes you believe you're better or braver

or smarter or faster or stronger, more clever,

than the killer who fires without hesitation

fueling his fire, his angry frustration.

How will you silence the din from without and within

that will give you the edge to drown out and see in

to be able to aim without error or doubt

to aim so discretely, to make sure to take out

Only him?

As long as we have those who firmly believe,

They are better prepared than those who just stand by and grieve,

That they can somehow do better than those who commit

To a job that's main purpose is to protect as seen fit.

We've witnessed the pauses, the mortal mistakes,

That resulted in losses, disregarding the sakes,

of those entrusted to shelter, to weather the strain,

of the evil around us, to shoulder the pain,

Even they couldn't do it - those sworn to protect

And we ask ourselves why, and we hedge and deflect

From the truth that surrounds us and sets us apart -

Our humanity, our compassion, our mercy, our heart.

Is what guides us, directs us, and gets in the way.

And unless you're exposed to the depth of the fray

Every day every night when your soul sinks in deep

where the darkness of danger steals even your sleep -

It's not in you, as much as you wish, want, or claim

And be grateful for that, don't harbor the shame,

For simply wanting to be.

Until we all can accept who we are deep inside,

The battle for what will resolve will reside,

Among us between those who know and do not.

Would you be willing to lay down your arms for a shot,

of true freedom - though you may say it's unreal

to live without wondering, to not have to feel,

that we may be next in the line of someone's fire,

the target of hate, of anger and ire,

To live each day fully without fear of an end,

To know every stranger is really a friend.

That is real freedom, to simply love and to live

Just imagine that is ours but to give.

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