“Our children’s blood is on your hands.” from a February 2018  travel journal as I listen to news of the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting

Touring Austin, we visit the Texas State Capital Building
surrounded by spacious grounds and many statues
memorializing the Confederacy and Texas Land grab
from Mexico (revered as their War of Independence).
There’s a statue of Davy Crockett (Martyr
of the Alamo) inside the big rotunda. 
Lots of school kids taking tours
as well as other visitors. 

And one lone man wearing a small bowler cap
walks around within the echoing rotunda
striding up and down the grand corridors calling out
over and over as he reads names handwritten
on a scrap of paper in his hand: “corrupt Republican
Representative [name] who received umpteen 1000’s
of dollars from the NRA—
Our children’s blood is on your hands.” 

“Corrupt Republican (very occasionally Dem.)
Senator who received this many thousands of dollars
from the NRA.  Our children’ blood is on your
.”  At least 3 times I hear him say,
“My child’s blood is on your hands.” 
His great booming voice vibrates and resounds
in that high-ceilinged, big stone building.  

Armed guards stand at entry-way security machines
and in doorways around us.  Visitors stand and stare.
One or two film him on their smart phones.
I wish I knew how to do the same. 
No one stops him from crying out, again and again.
For at least half an hour, he repeats in bellowing
anguish, “Our children’s blood is on your hands.”
Before I head upstairs to see the Senate and House meeting rooms,

I walk beside him.  Say, “Thank you for doing this.” 
He nods, brief small dip of his head
and continues his accusing sonorous lament.
Near the end of our time in the Capital Building, I overhear
talk about the latest Florida school shooting.
Yes, I heard, in our hotel lobby, “Coming up: news flash
from Parkland, Florida” then commercial as we went to breakfast.
Now it’s all coming into very sharp focus

as we feel a tightening in our chest, so exit
the building and stroll over to the botanical garden.
So very great is our need for relief from the glorification
of the violence of Texan history, and
the ongoing, unending national slaughter.


  1. Sue, once again you have elegantly and heartbreakingly expressed the pain of the world with compassion and the necessity of nature’s beauty as solace and sanity. Thank you!


    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

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