I am trying not to write a poem
about the one-year-old who was killed
by the three-year-old
two days ago in my fair city of Cleveland—
all because someone left a loaded gun
in a house full of kids.
I would rather write a poem
about shopping. People might enjoy
a poem about shopping.
If I wrote a poem about the joys
and challenges of shopping,
no one would have to read
that Braylon Robinson—a baby boy
who was “always smiling”—
died in the ambulance
after being shot in the head.
If I wrote a poem about how
hard it is not to buy all
the colorful dipping bowls at Target,
then I would not have to remember
that Braylon’s mother will never
get to buy him a little backpack
for his first day of school.
I wonder what kind of poem
might soothe the heartache
of a nation trapped
in an undeclared war
where too many of us have loved
someone who was shot?
What kind of poem
could stop that heartbreak?
I would like to write it.
Over her career, Mimi Plevin-Foust has been a poet, glass artist, screenwriter and filmmaker with an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU. Mimi’s poetry, screenplays and articles have been published by Carve Magazine, Fourteen Hills, LearnVest/Forbes.com, POZ Magazine, and more. In 2017, she won the Gordon Square Review Poetry Contest for her poem “On the Anniversary of the Kent State Shootings.” After living in New York City and New Jersey for many years, Mimi moved back to her hometown of Cleveland where she shares a 106-year-old house with assorted Airbnb guests and her husband, daughter, and cats.
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