"We All Got Shot" / by Melanie Ida Chopko

Hating to be heartbroken again, listening to the news from Baltimore, thankful that my heart is still soft enough to get knocked over to what is happening now, what has been happening for 400 years in my country. Tanks in response to that?! Thugs? I got so mad today when someone told me "It's too bad about that kid, but what's atrocious is the property damage." Frankly, it's embarrassing when someone close to me sees windows and buildings as more valuable that a human life that will never fully bloom into its full contribution. That is, if it miraculously found enough water and support to survive and bloom past the concrete of underfunded schools, a pipeline to prison, and a media that reflects over and over to him he is disposable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-QWI-Iy1ns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-QWI-Iy1ns

So maybe the song I'm writing on government will rewrite itself to include this, and I'll go back to painting portraits of these men. In the meantime, I keep listening to the phenomenal range of responses in this song, Don't Shoot, (and this one, Glory ), enjoying that my fiddle/finger-picking/piano self also feels at home with my brothers in poetry - their stories, their truth-telling, their anger. I'm reminded of my mentors Isaak Brown and Joanna Macy, how anger is a deep call for justice. It is the emotion of clarity. 

And I want to listen.