Monday, August 14, 2023

Jennifer Lagier


“'Really angry' gunman who killed 3 at Gilroy Garlic Festival cut fence, shot randomly for less than a minute.” –USA Today

While I attend a Monterey poetry reading where
two Latino poets promote love and unity,
one more furious white man cuts through a fence,
with his automatic rifle, shoots down
fifteen festival attendees, killing three,
including a six-year-old boy,
thirteen-year old girl.

When will we, as a nation,
discontinue spewing useless aphorisms,
no longer facilitate poison
seeping into hearts and minds,
bind wounds, staunch hatred,
reject division, halt wanton bleeding?

When do we quit mouthing platitudes,
lance festering resentments,
drain away sickness, cauterize anger,
make America safe and sane again,
put rational adults
in charge of our healing?

Please, no more thoughts and prayers.
We need moral leadership, action.

Jennifer's YouTube video reading of "Thoughts and Prayers"

Jennifer confesses: "My cousin’s family had left the Gilroy festival thirty minutes before the shooting began. The escalating gun violence in our communities never seems to abate while our legislators offer bankrupt platitudes rather than realistic solutions."

JENNIFER LAGIER lives a block from the stage where Jimi Hendrix torched his guitar during the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. She serves two rescue dogs, dabbles in photography, taught with California Poets in the Schools, edits the Monterey Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium readings. Website:

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