terror in innocent daycare eyes
terror in insolent teenage lies
terror in all our daily plans
terror in all Americans
terror in parks where children play
terror by night
terror by day
terror in arms where love should be. YES,
terror is destroying me.

anger that no solutions work
anger. mobs. schools. church.
anger at politicians speaking empty nonsense
anger grows. explodes. life is spent
begging for a better day, when
begging is left in yesterday, when
begging for safety isn’t old and gray
begging for how it used to be
what we used to hear
what we used to see
a better you
a better me
a true community
not this insanity

but now life’s purpose fades
an empty game of charades
in a helpless haze
every moment of every day
terror stole it all away

About the Poem

Recent terrorist activities in the news in Israel, Japan, and New Zealand remind us that societal anger and fear is still a factor in our lives. With new political issues in the U.S., we may see yet another rise here. Certainly, School shootings continue to strike fear in our communities.

About the Author

Dale Hensarling is an artist, author, and musician, living in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, puppies, and parrot named “Pongo.” He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University and teaches English.

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