Reflecting on Another Mass Shooting

A physician assistant writes a poem inspired by the recent mass shooting in Uvalde.

I felt compelled to write this poem after the mass shooting in Uvalde. Death by bullets is the second leading cause of death in children in this country, second only to motor vehicle accidents. Yet the National Rifle Association held its annual conference just days after the shooting, defending their “right” to own military-style weaponry, designed solely for mass shootings.

The dialogue must change from right to responsibility. We have a responsibility to give our children a safe and inspiring childhood. After all, these children will soon be the leaders of our communities, our nation, and our world.

Mass Shooting

Another mass shooting

This time at a school,

The toll on society

Immeasurable. Cruel.

21 won’t have nightmares

21 will have no pain and

21 will not see

their families again.

Death is the absence of life

and I say

so many more died,

their souls emptied that day.

The mothers, the fathers

The sisters and brothers,

Neighbors and friends

And countless others

But still the gun show

Lives, their beloved bullets taking lives,

Children experiencing horror,

Instead of sweet lullabies.

The more the bullets spray

Into the young and innocent,

The more they worship a hot barrel

For them, all omnipotent.

Pro-gun, pro-life

For me this makes no sense,

Their illogical beliefs,

Hostile, on constant offense.

We search to find an answer

When bullets unabashedly fly

Maybe we can work with each other

Devoid of tempers,

Come. Let us try.

We all are not so different

Some things we can agree,

We all want to see children grow

Up and make their

Dreams reality.

Let’s keep magazines just for reading

Listen to our children: foster their

hopes and beautiful dreams.

Let us honor their short sweet childhood,

Let bullets and other violences

Be something not known or heard or seen.

Let us try with our might

to find ground in the middle.

Where arms are for hugging

Not bullets to riddle.

For children all too soon

Will be leading this nation

Let them have lived in peace

Without fear or aggression.

For living in kindness is easy

Living in fear is not!

Let them grow strong with their dreams

Not cowardly with bullets, and lives lost.

Ms Ala has been a physician assistant for more than 20 years, working mainly in family practice as well as psychiatry. She has psychiatric experience working in corrections as well as inpatient geriatric psychiatry and crisis care at the University of Utah (Huntsman Mental Health Institute). She also served as a volunteer provider for several years at the Impact Clinic in Salt Lake City, a free mental health clinic, founded by Noel C. Gardner, MD. She won a commendation for her poem, “Barriers,” in the Hippocrates Society for Poetry and Medicine poetry contest in 2021. She recently moved to central Maine. She can be reached at vivamus2020@gmail.com.