This war is a class war
Because he could not find a girl to love
Or a friend to greet,
Because his father left after one night in his mother,
He took a gun to school
shot at those he thought were happier
those once happy teens
dying in the halls, screaming with terror.
The boy with the gun had nothing to lose
So what could be done to stop him?
Because he saw his father lose job after job
And turn to drink
Because his father hit him
As he was hit by his father before.
Because the time the police stopped him on his way home
And he was already angry.
He pulled away and struggled and was shot.
No hero, bad enough to knock you over and rob you
But the hungry need a place at the table.
The prisons stand as warnings
Like bells in the night
Like fires licking out of windows
Each iPhone sold, each interest dollar paid
Tips the scales once more toward
That flood, which cuts down each man and woman
Regardless of wealth or colour.
I, who you thought drowned by God in the great flood
There was no room for me at the Caesars table
But there was room for me in his army
And it was there I learned to cut with knife and sword.
In the forest I see the collar on the hind
That reads ‘harm me not, for I am Caesar's.'
But I, having seen Caesar cut down, cared no more for any life.
They put me to the guillotine as well
The blade took off my head, but I lived on.
I saw those who watched the executions
In their turn executed,
Now, in my age, I stand on the street of your city.
I see the gun in the hand of the man
I see the children kept from school
I see the woman with the bloody wound.
This war is not one of religion or race
It is as it has always been what it is now.
A class war.
Where one has too much
And many have too few
No number of guns can keep that door closed.
Published by David O'Sullivan