How Many? By Matthew Laverty

How Many?

Children need to die to solve this issue?

As if there were an answer, 14 more have left us, unfinished

essays, lunches, little things that made them

stronger day by day. The spirits of 138 children

since Newtown, is that too much to think about

when you close your eyes and there’s that lingering

feeling that somebody somewhere needs to be

let go from whatever it is that holds their head underwater,

but we ignore and ignore until we can’t any longer,

remove ourselves from what becomes

hostile conversation. There’s that aura of division

in every gleaming orifice in this country, and it is

hard to know what road if any leads to an office building in every city

with big signs that read: GUARANTEED BUY-BACK GUN DEPOSIT HERE,

or if we could go there to purge ourselves

of our guns without the threat of feeling

that we’re the ones about to be under attack.

How many parents must send their kids to school

knowing that today could be the last time

they see one another.

How many?

By Matthew Laverty

A poem from Disarm: A Themed issue Responding to Mass Shootings in America


Matthew Laverty earned a BLA from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell where he studied creative writing under award winning poet Maggie Dietz and critically acclaimed author Andre Dubus III. His poems have appeared at Poetry Quarterly, FORTH Magazine, and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @MattLavPoems, and on his Tumblr site MattLavWrites.

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