Red is the Bluest Color

Red is the Bluest Color

Last night I woke up from a nightmare where I was standing on a street corner during a storm, watching electric poles fall and knock over trees, and trees fall and knock down houses, and I realized my dream was America.


american mothers, each day you send your children to slaughterhouses,
and you watch the bobbleheads on tv talk over each other, saying,
“something has to be done about this”
and you echo their sentiments,
but each election you send the bogyman to Congress,
ignoring the implications of his fundraising
provisions because you say this man
is likeable, this man represents your family, your faith,
this man should run for president one day.

american mothers, you clip your false prophet's button to your breast
and ignore his voting history that suggests
he only protects lambs when they’re fetal-shaped,
while they incubate, while they’re not a burden to tax payers—
and when this man betrays your seed the moment
your sea of Galilee breaks, all you say is, he will make our country
great again—this elected killer,
who cuts the cord and twists your womb into a noose and sells
your sons for 30 pieces of silver—
this co-conspirator to your children’s demise—
who denies your daughters
three times before the cock cries,
then disappears into a committee room
for a glass of chardonnay and a steak dinner.

American mothers, each day you send your lambs to slaughter
and each time the hammer swings nine inches deep
and the undertaker orders fresh palls for sheep
draped in the shape of our children,
the only condolence your saint offers is his thoughts
and prayers over Twitter, or an automated email
reminder, “don’t forget to vote next election.” (indeed)
and all you can think is, thank god you have a godly man representing
you in the capital, in that hornet’s nest of petty thieves
and godless creeps and gutless liberals.

(—but have you ever stopped
to consider—
who are the real wolves devouring our children?)

american mothers, when they say, “nothing can be done,”
don’t believe them. when they argue,
“our country is just wired this way.
this is what our Founding Fathers wanted,”
remind them that our country was also
founded by mothers –
and there is no weapon greater
than a mother’s love, and no law of man
that can’t be unwritten by a woman who has had enough.

american mothers, each day you send your children to slaughterhouses
and you say it’s only unsafe when the sick guys are carrying the guns
but I got 44 million friends who share my disease
and we all agree: we'd never hurt anyone.
what will it take for you to open your eyes
to the real national crisis?
for two decades fifteen crosses have rotted
on that treeless hill off Highway 287—
for twelve years the ghosts of Glock 19s have
haunted the college corridors in the east,
and every Christmas for seven Christmases now,
twenty-seven angels hover over Bullough’s Pond
waiting for the bell to ring,
for a national awakening that never comes
—why, just last week, seventeen souls crawled into the sea
and floated away to meet a bermuda-shorts jesus,
the tides mimicking the sound that a heart makes when it breaks
into a million pieces.

american mothers, my sisters, what will it take?
a new place, a different rifle?
another atrocity that you can’t erase by switching off the news
and opening a Bible?
…or will it take drawing back the shades on a sunny day
when the sky is a sea of blue calm,
only to discover the carnival of carnage
has reached your doorstep,
and you are a mother to no one?

-- Erin Passons
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