Short Attention Span

As I watch the news, the press conferences, the tears, the outpouring of support, the prayer for the families, the empathy and compassion of the American people, I am both happy and sad at the same time.  I’m happy, because for the time being we are engaged, concerned, desire to do better, be better, a little more cordial toward one another, more loving, more spiritual, and more humane in general.  These tragedies, while hard to stomach, each give us a glimpse of the America we could be.

I’m sad, because I know this humanity that we flash after each tragedy will not last.  I’m sad because I know by the end of the year our attention will shift back to the fiscal cliff, New Years parties, Scandal, reality TV, or some other escape that we turn too when we’re tired of being compassionate.  I’m sad because I know that after showing glimpses of the America we can be, we’ll go back to being the America that we are.

The latest tragedy made me dig up an excerpt from an old poem I wrote a few years ago.  The poem still doesn’t have a title, but I call the excerpt Short Attention Span.

We
Come together
As a community
Speak words of comfort
To the mother we ignored
About the invisible boy
We never wanted to see

We
Hold candlelight vigils
In his honor
Cry on queue
Raise funds for the cause
Contact the media

We
Are drawn closer
To one another by
Compassion for the victim
and outrage
Over the violence
That has pierced a hole
In the bubble
Protecting our
Perfect
Little community

and then,
We move on
Distance ourselves
From the tragic memories
Of the invisible little boy
Who was prematurely killed
Senselessly

Put aside our
Compassion
For the mother
We ignored,
Then embraced,
and then left alone
To deal with the pain
Of her empty soul

Left her alone
To be tormented
By the dreadful thoughts of
Unseen smiles
Un-blossomed seeds
Abducted generations
Unfulfilled destinies
Stolen tomorrows
Dark dreams
and unrealized visions
Of what could have been

We move on
Transform our empathy
Back into cruelty
Just before forgetting
The mother we ignored
and her invisible son
and her tragedy
and her pain
and her loneliness
and the fact
That she stopped eating
Stopped going to work
Stopped praying
Stopped believing
and hasn’t moved forward
Since that tragic day
When her son’s life was
Stolen

We move on
Only remembering her tragedy
As a tool to quantify the horror
Of future tragedies
But we forget her pain…

n596789013_1158717_5378

Advertisements

About Sean King

Husband, Father, Writer, Philosopher, Humanitarian

Posted on December 16, 2012, in My Thoughts, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: