Note:  The lines below were written a couple of weeks ago, but never posted. I thought too much time had passed since the relevant events. I needn’t have worried.  New opportunities arose.

To Whom It May Concern:

It seems every time I turn around now

Flags are flying at half staff

Commemorating the victims of one mass shooting

Or another

Only a willful lack of conviction

Allows us to tolerate such violence

A lack of conviction driven by an equally willful

Misinterpretation of our constitutional rights

In the face of catastrophe after catastrophe

We are not helpless

. . . .

And yet

. . . .

Our inaction in preventing these deaths

Is an insult to the principles

Articulated so eloquently

In the Declaration of Independence

And encoded so thoughtfully

In our Constitution

. . . .

Yes, freedom has a price–

This is not it

The founding fathers–

Would be appalled

. . . .

Today’s lowered flags represent

The shame of the betrayal

Of the worthy ideals

The Original Patriots fought for

It doesn’t take Supreme Court

Iinterpretations of ‘intent’

To figure out what to do about all this

It only takes, as Thomas Paine might say,

Common sense

. . . .

I have a proposal:

Let all flags fly at half staff

Until we develop the courage

To push back against

This pointless tide of death