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American boy

By P. D. MurrayPublished 11 months ago 1 min read
"American Pieta" P.D. Murray Mixed media 2018

After the parade

I imagine shell casings

Caromed off the roof,

Scattered among the abandoned


Am I too late?

Too soon?

When is a shooter not active?

I wonder in the hotel lobby,

The next day. The fifth.

Does the CNN scroll

Ever still?

I have been here a month

But that is another

Story: how the night staff

Now smile when I shuffle out

To smoke.

Good night, Mr. Paul

(. or ?)

They say. And I say:

Yes. You (?)

The moths

And mayflies have eyes

Attracted to the stabbing

Lights outside this Hilton.

I am an American boy.

I have lived through two

Earthquakes. A tornado.

Floods, hurricanes, handcuffs,

Benders, cancer, and wanderlust.

I’ve weathered divorces, deaths,

Diaspora, taxes, bad beats.

I was raised on Wonderbread

And milk. Watched Lassie. Believed

We were all going places.

After the parade,

They report the guy

Wore women’s clothes to escape.

Played Soldier Boy; loved

Call of Duty and forecast

Actions on Facebook.

Aprés moi, le deluge.

After the parade,

I feel the flood

Of all the feels.

I despair for the queer,

The raped and seeded,

The marginalized yet vital

Walmart-wagers, weed-heads,

The battered, the boozehounds,

The aboriginal and the colonizer both.

I despair for Cain even, caught

Red-handed and born with whatever

Blind-black spot on the helix

Still spurs the human-shaped ape

To blame and kill ape.

After the parade,

We are all still just

Walking each other home.

Some of us are Abel-

Bodied, and some infirm.

Shells litter

Our streets and past.

Many are wounded,

But all are in transit.

After the parade,

Forgive us.

For we know not

What to be or

What not

To do.

social commentary

About the Creator

P. D. Murray

Murray is an accomplished painter and writer.

Through 2010, he was shown exclusively by Treehouse Studio Galleries. His work hangs in private collections around the world. He's also published 5 books. You can see more at www.pdmurray.art

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