News Poetry: “resolution”


I have one
now that the killings are
within city blocks of me
blood spilled
yards from my kin

dawn breaking
New Year’s Eve
my grandsons waken
stunned by gunfire
dreaded screams
SWAT team banging doors
ordering residents
“Stay down!”

Officers and residents shot.
One policeman, dead.

Our closest encounter
but not the first…

–my children’s former teacher
lost in #Columbine
–my daughter’s doctor, father
of #ChurchMassMurderer
–my friend-of-friend’s teenager
blown away at #ArapahoeHS
–my son’s co-worker’s sister
slaughtered #AuroraTheater.

I write; I call Congress
weekly (weakly);
I demand stronger #GunControl
in Colorado, in the nation;
I march;
I deride those who carry guns
to the park, the grocery store;
I revile glorification of weapons.
Still, what I do isn’t enough.
Most have not done enough.
Legislation, not enough.
Each life taken, each death
counted, has not yet been

Therefore, in January 2018
I resolve that I will
do more
something new, join
the force of kindred spirits
to find and follow a Jedi-
-like lawmaker
and support him or her
for as long as it takes.
A resolution for life.

Will you, too?


You will, when the blood
comes close enough.


Photo credit: Wenchieh Yang, Creative Commons, Flickr 
Petra Perkins – former aerospace engineer, STEM education activist, “space junkie” and pilot – writes essay, memoir, fiction, humor, interview and poetry from her home in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Her work is found in The Huffington Post, The Denver Post, The Readers’ Digest, Brain,Child Magazine, The Rumpus, Manifest-Station, Progenitor, ArtAscent, Dreamquest, several blogs and literary journals. Petra’s creative non-fiction story “I Know Astronauts” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2016) and she is pleased to have won the Faulkner-Wisdom Gold Medal in Poetry (2015).


  1. I will follow and work with that brave Congressman or woman! I will call, write,
    March or whatever it takes to end these

    • Thank you, Judith. I have yet another death close to me. Today. The STEM school I helped start. Where my grandson went. Today. A couple of miles away. EVERYone needs to step up activism. Against easy access to guns.


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