Pack to School

17 01 2020
My little Kevin starts the fourth grade today.
He likes school. Especially reading.
Like last year, I got the school supplies.
But the extra $129 maxed out my Visa.
Across town Steve walks up to the gun counter at WalMart,
excited to hold that Glock once more.
Today’s the day he’s waited for,
to buy that beauty.
Kevin’s going to be safe today, that’s my prayer.
I went over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and
bought him a bulletproof backpack that doubles as a shield.
That’s all I can do, I guess.
Steve has a lot on his mind, and a plan of attack.
Work is stressful, but his new pistol brings a smile.
Safety is king, so he drives home
and locks the gun in his safe.
This poem I write does not have a proper end,
but to pause and note the tragedy of an armed America.
A boy going back to school with iPad and Kevlar.
A gun industry no one can touch. Or won’t.
Steve has an unknown tomorrow.
He may collect, polish,
practice, sell,
wound, or kill.
Kevin is a blessed boy.
He has a mother who prays, books to read,
a school nearby, and
a shield from gunfire.
This is our country, land of the free,
home of the brave.
The Steves of America don’t know the Kevins.
And apparently that’s just the way it must be.
–poem by Robert Edwin Rasmussen
(based on an article in TIME magazine, Dec.16, 2019)