Not Doing Enough from a Distance?

Prose poem in light of this week’s recent events…

Credit: YouTube

You ask how I feel about the recent news, knowing my words are my activism. But the only words I can say are none, zero, zilch. I’m as speechless as the blank document I opened up in my heart when this breaking news broke me. How am I supposed to react as a poet & writer, when the same narratives of school shootings and racially motivated crimes and broken promises by predominantly white lawmakers with a broken sense of nation’s reality…keep being passed down from generation to generation? Not only through oral tradition with the main protagonists being the oppressed and the antagonists being the oppressors, but through this social media tradition where bits and pieces of the truth are woven together into one big quilt: covering us as we doomscroll on our devices for days until we suffocate from media overstimulation. To fall in line with the people who fear my words will get me in trouble would mean not fighting my own social justice fire alongside other people’s fires, one of the pillars of my writing brand. Yet, falling out of line and writing my own narratives based on what’s going on with this country — here and now, now and here — would mean false accusations of not doing enough from a distance. Not doing enough from a distance to implement stricter gun laws; not doing enough from a distance to implement stricter gun laws; not doing enough from a distance to reinforce the notion of school being a safe space for students to soak up their subjects like the sponges they are. And from a distance. I lay here crying because the anxious urge to take control leaves me feeling helpless and out of control. I have the overwhelming urge to create, yes, but again I say, I don’t know what to say without the pain of Uvalde, Texas — combined with the pains of Parkland and Sandy Hook that still ache my soul — leaving me frozen in place. And while I can unfreeze by distracting myself with more humorous activities (looking at you, Suburban Fairy Tales), it’s only a temporary escape from the same stories of school shootings and racially motivated crimes and broken promises by predominantly white lawmakers with a broken sense of our nation’s reality…that keep being passed down from generation to generation. How am I supposed to react as a poet, you ask knowing my words are my activism? None, zero, zilch are the only words I can say; I’m as speechless as the blank document I opened up in my heart when this breaking news broke me.

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Avery Danae (she/her/they/them)

Avery Danae (she/her/they/them)

Contributor for The Power of Poetry, Catholicism for the Modern World, and An Injustice. Writer of YA poems & essays: https://beacons.ai/averydanaewrites