Author's Note:

I wrote this the day after the Stoneman Douglas Shooting on February Fourteenth, 2018.


This Valentines Day,
seventeen names run across my screen.
I imagine seventeen valentines cards
signed yours truly,
never making their way to an envelope.
Seventeen roses wilting before they make it to the vase.
Seventeen hands never shaking, hearts never again racing.
Seventeen love songs that were never played
while dancing in prom dresses that will never be worn.
Seventeen lovers, sisters, brothers,

and smiles I’ll never get to see.
And seventeen mothers feeling the weight of the world,
a pain I can’t describe from losing a love I don’t yet know.

This Valentines Day,

you clutch your excuses close to your heart,

closer than you would hold your rifle,

and you praise yourself,

for protecting your home, values, and your wife,

who’s quietly crying in the kitchen,

for the seventeen mothers cursing your name.


Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My country
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