handgun

I don’t own a gun
I’ve never really had the desire
I don’t hunt
I don’t shoot skeet
I’ve shot a BB gun, but I don’t own one
My son has a dozen Nerf guns
We played with them yesterday
It was fun
Is that part of the problem?

I’m a soldier’s son
But
We did not have guns in the house
But
We were taught that you don’t point a gun at something unless you intend to destroy it
Completely

What makes someone
want to destroy people completely?
Innocent people
People they don’t even know

I’d never wanted a gun to protect
my family and property
I have a baseball bat for that
But
When I was lying in the darkest dark
With no 911
I finally understood
Emotionally
The deep desire to be able to protect my people and property
I don’t want to forget that feeling
That may be key to compromise
I still don’t want a gun
But
I get it

A few weeks ago I had my first lockdown
Got an emergency text
The word became flesh
We locked the doors and hid the kids
Until all was clear
Then went back to work
Like it was no big deal
It was

I wept for Columbine
I couldn’t process Sandy Hook
Since then
I’ve lost track
Too many to recall

I know people in Gilroy
I’ve been through El Paso
I know people in Dayton
The pain is getting closer
But I can’t feel it

I don’t have the right answers
Not sure I even have the right questions
But
It can’t be normal to feel nothing
when dozens of us are gone
Again

I care
But
I no longer feel
And that is what scares me most

-jason-

sprout

My son brought home some seeds
inside a paper cup

We didn’t have much hope for them
since

My wife and I are famous
for no greenness in our thumbs

But after days of waiting
3 sassy sprouts peeked through

Our morning joy has been
to check on our baby greens

We celebrate each tiny change
in our adopted crew

Debating how much water
Googling how much sun
Celebrating with HomeDabbler

We move them pot to pot
as they outgrow each smaller clay

Some days we find them droopy
Some days we find them tall

They’ve come so far
They have to make it

Too much riding on it all

-Jason-

#850strong

39 weeks

9 months today

39 weeks

Michael’s children almost due

More than 39 weeps

More than 39 leaks

We’re expecting a rain event today

Depression is topical

Call it tropical or storm

Both have the P, the T, the S and the D

Maybe we’re just recycling those tears

Consuming our own

Don’t sleep where you

Sit

Down

And tell me how is your fam?

Less blues on the rooves

But

His tarp is a sieve

Her attic’s in view

Rents higher than spring breakers ‘02

Stop counting the days

Start clearing the haze

Why do I know it was a Wednesday?

-Jason-

#850strong

almost

I’ve almost forgotten

The song of constant chainsaws

Choosing between gas or charging the phone 

Seeing stars from my yard

I’ve almost forgotten

What used to be on that corner

Asking over and over, “Y’all okay?”

The quiver in her voice when we finally got through on broken lines

I’ve almost forgotten

I don’t want to forget

I want to forget

I don’t want to forget

I want to forget

I’ve almost forgotten

Almost

-Jason-

#850strong 

wrecked

What have we got?

We’ve got

Less builders than building 
More rubble than rooves

We’ve got

Front yard camping
People living in cars

Forrests that are kindling
Time bombs of flaming fear

We’ve got

More patients than patience
Less doctors than docks

Condoms on our chimneys
Cause we’re still getting screwed

We’ve got

Elephants blaming Asses
Donkeys blaming Derms

Grandstanding politicians
Walking like cocks

The only shade we’re getting is from
Those elected to serve

We’ve got each other
But more leave every day

Now a new season is here
What do you say?

-Jason-
#850strong

cracks

His demons are back
They were with him before the storm
But he used to hide them in the trees
Now that’s not an option

She yelled at some rubble today
Not sure why she did it
Maybe because that spot had been cleared
Guess that building was not done purging

He sits in his car outside the office
Trying to get up the nerve to face the day
He’s handling the big stuff
But a small thing might make him crack

She has no passion for the things
that used to make her whole
Is this just the way it is now?
She’s not willing to consider that

-jason-

#850strong

broken & growing

The death toll was low
Unless we consider your kinfolk

Too many to count
Takes our breath away

You barely survived
Wind whipped
Your arms torn away
Torso cracked
Heart broken

Not a willow yet we see your sticky tears
All that remains is a sickening stump
jagged and jarring

We should put you out of your misery
Call Bob
That cat can do the job

Wait
What’s this?

A tiny bud
It’s not spring
You’re confused
Or in shock
Maybe both

We thought we’d lost you
But
You’re blooming out of season

You’re putting all your energy into
the promise of tomorrow

Is this a last hoorah or a full recovery?
Hard to know

Either way
It’s beautiful and bold

Broken and growing
That’s what you are

You’re not alone
Show us the way

-Jason-

#850strong

someday

Some days I am a severed stump
Some days a table top

Some days I see obliterate
Some days a start that’s fresh

Some days I want to lead the charge
Some days I cannot move

Some days I want to run away
Some days I’ll never leave

Some days I see a sea of stumps
Some days they’re lily pads

Some days I weigh 800 lbs
Some days I’m light as air

Some days I see a jagged scar
Some days a blooming bud

Some days I get lost on the road
Some days a new way home

Some days I hear the banging nails
Some days reminding winds

Some days I can carry you
Some days please carry me

Some days
Some daze
Sum days
Sum daze

Someday we’ll be okay again
Some days we never will

Some days
Someday

-jason-

#850strong

bloom

I found you growing by the curb
in the middle of a yard scar
left by the grabber truck

I never even noticed you 
until you smiled at me
with your golden bloom

I have so many questions
Why are you growing here?
Why now? What for?
Who planted you?
And why?

I moved you away from the road
closer to the house
to keep you safe
Your roots were shallow
You hadn’t been there long
Yet you were strong and sure

I hope you thrive next to us
like you did in that scar
It would mean the world to us
To grow beside you

-jason-

#850strong

shells

He knew what to do
when it was life and death
But now that it’s just life
He’s struggling
He was thriving in the fire
Now
Just
Numb
He’s chasing every spark
To try and feel alive again

Her house is fine compared to most
She has a job
Her family’s safe
So why does she feel so broken?
She finds no joy in her favorite things
She wants to help but freezes up
This fog won’t seem to lift

Somehow the roof withstood the wind
The windows bowed but did not break
Yet
The dirty water found its way inside
It seeped into the smallest holes
Soaking into inner walls
From the street the house looks fine
Just don’t go inside
It’s an empty shell

-jason-

#850strong