acceptable loss (or; i get angry when I watch the news)


I am a pacifist
but I gave into fear
and bought a gun
and killed a child
playing in the street
eyes brown and bright
she looked right at me
before I blew her away

acceptable loss

for my freedom

I gave into fear
and signed a ballot
now there is blood on my hands
that little girl
who will never grow up

acceptable loss

perhaps in eternity I will meet her
kissing my grandkids goodbye
something she will never have
and explain to her

about acceptable loss

it was a mistake
you were in the way
my intentions were good
it just didn't work out

I wanted you to be free
but my plan didn't work
and now we're here

with acceptable loss

it may be easy to think
that i am blameless
that it was someone else
who's bullet let fly

but I wrote the check
that paid my taxes
that purchased a gun
that killed the child
and now I live with

acceptable loss

my freedom, my choice
gave someone permission
to make the decision
and determine what is

acceptable loss

I am a housewife
a mother
nobody special
a person with no real authority
so you really can't blame me
for the death of the child

I can glory in freedom
I have choice and selection
to buy the right brand
and fill up at the pump

but the death of one child haunts my mind
as I stand in the check-out line
calculating the degrees of separation
for my own comfort

so at what cost to my soul
was that freedom
a deal with the devil
so I can go to the mall?

acceptable loss


I had a dream last night. Of a nationalistic church service I went to with my parents and my parents uncomfortableness with the pacifist aspect of my Quaker faith. And I woke up remembering the report I listened to about the lawsuit being filed against having to pay war tax, and of those I know who work at low-paying jobs, barter homes and food, or escrow tax money, so that they avoid the payment of taxes to fund war. Yesterday, I googled what does land of the free and home of the brave mean? And today I read your poem. And there is fear and wonder that perhaps i am moving to a place where acceptable loss is no longer acceptable. And fear and wonder that maybe my own comfort will keep me from that place. and mostly, it is good to read these words from you.


Thanks for your comments. It was a strange departure from what I normally write about, but the feelings are so strong.

That dream of yours is what truly scares me. The country that I was taught about in my youth is going in a dangerous direction IMHO. The poem came out of a moment where the clear realization hit me of what it means to be a citizen of a country where you don't agree with the actions of your voted representatives and yet you live with the benefits. We point our fingers at other countries and say "why don't they change that" when we know that their leaders are corrupt. It is so hypicritical.

The idea of flying under the tax radar by sacrificing "american" comforts is a noble one. Maybe those that do that are more in tune with what effect we actually have (as a country) and can't stomach it. At least they are taking some sort of action.

I live with a crisis of conscience, but it doesn't have feet. It is a helpless feeling. And to live in a country that espouses christian beliefs that are so anti-christ, it makes my heart hurt.

What do you think Jesus thinks? How will the Father judge us?

Blair - I have been thinking and praying over these queries. I wish I knew. For now, it feels like obedience to be seeking the Father in this, and, frankly, being a bit scared of what I might find. In meeting on Sunday, someone spoke of seeking transformation, not change. I am waiting for the Spirit to partner with me in that transformation, at the same time knowing that I like my comforts.Yeah, a crisis of conscience without feet.Do you have any new thoughts?

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This page contains a single entry by Blair published on August 17, 2006 5:54 PM.

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