A small shiny insect crawled methodically across
the clean, white sheet of paper,
trying to crawl across before I stained it
with my useless words.
So arrogant and determined in his steps.
I am grateful it was not a spider.
So very grateful it was not
you among the dead in Kenya,
in Chicago, in wherever.

said the shotgun to the head*
Have you ever been kissed by God?

A mother loses a son,
a child loses a mother,
a son–a father, a father–a son
kissed by a shotgun, kissed by God.
Guns make holes in people and they die.

said the shotgun to the head
was that kiss so sensual that you fell to your knees?

I am here, following the
steps of the little beetle so very closely
doing what I can to keep you alive.

When we kill, are we the methodical beetle
Or delivering a kiss from God?

* Russell Williams.  Lines taken out of context and their order in his original poem.

Selected byKaci Skiles Laws
Image credit:Image Catalog

Susan is new to poetry. Poetry is both a means for sense of the world and a way to harken back to fond memories of writing extensively in school. She and her partner, Morgan Driscoll, are in the process of publishing a collection of poems about writing poetry.  It is  irreverently titled Up Your Ars Poetica. Due out in Fall 2023.