I Tell Myself

I did nothing wrong!

The shooting was self defense.
The shotgun shells spread a star spangled pattern
across the man’s chest and heart,
but did not nick his Saint Christopher medal
on its tight leather thong about his neck.

I did nothing wrong.

The shooting was a selfish act
of stereotypes and unchecked fears
to enforce a crossed-line
as defined by the jimmied, side door threshold
that leads into the kitchen with its dirty dishes.

I did nothing wrong.

If we spoke the same language
our shouting may have negotiated
a way out of this adrenaline fueled,
sleepy-eyed violence.
The investigators may answer
if this stain on my soul
was from his insatiable demand for opiates
or an immigrant hungry to fill his family’s bellies.

I did nothing wrong!

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


This poem was written a month before the shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

Too many people speak of violence as an answer. Violence is not an answer. It is simply violence. Fear gets too strong a hold on some folks.

3 thoughts on “I Tell Myself

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s