Immediately Assume

Immediately Assume

Ex-U.S. Army soldier and security
guard Timothy McVeigh parks
a rented Ryder truck containing
a bomb made of agricultural
fertilizer, diesel fuel, and other
chemicals in front of the
Alfred P. Murrah Federal
Building in downtown
Oklahoma City. He exits the
vehicle, locks the door, and
heads towards another car.
He ignites one timed fuse, then
a second. At precisely 9:02 a.m.
the bomb explodes, reducing a
third of the building to rubble.
Dozens of cars are incinerated
and more than 300 nearby buildings
are damaged or destroyed. The
death toll is 168, including
19 children, with several hundred
more injured. It is the worst act
of homegrown terrorism in the
nation’s history.
As the attack
comes on the heels of the World Trade
Center bombing in New York two
years earlier, the    media    and
many Americans
immediately
assume
it is the handiwork
of Middle Eastern
terrorists.

__________
Acknowledgement: https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/oklahoma-city-bombing  | Accessed December 6, 2017 and February 12, 2018.

Copyright © 2018 by Reggie Marra. From Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed (forthcoming, September 2018).

Going Home

Going Home

Near Kirkuk
five soldiers watch
or work
while two wheel
the blood-soaked
gurney from the
inflated O.R. The
sergeant’s leg
amputated
and discarded, time
will tell if
he
will
be
as well.

__________
Acknowledgement: New York Times Magazine, “The Wounded,” by Johnny Dwyer. March 27, 2005, pp. 24+.  Photographs by Lynsey Addario/Corbis. This poem first appeared in This Open Eye: Seeing What We Do (2006).

Copyright © 2018 by Reggie Marra. From Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed (forthcoming, September 2018).

Ambush

Ambush

Two police officers sit in their patrol car
in Brooklyn and are shot point-blank and killed
by a man who travels from Baltimore vowing
to kill officers. The man commits suicide with
the same gun. The officers, Wenjian Liu and
Rafael Ramos are in the car near Myrtle and
Tompkins Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant in
the shadow of a housing project when Ismaaiyl
Brinsley walks up to the passenger-side window,
assumes a firing stance and shoots several rounds
into the heads and upper bodies of the officers,
who never draw their weapons. The shooter then
flees down the street and onto the platform of a
nearby subway station, where he kills himself as
officers close in. The police recover a silver semi-
automatic handgun. Brinsley has a rap sheet of
crimes that includes robbery and carrying a
concealed gun, and is believed to have shot his
former girlfriend near Baltimore before traveling
to Brooklyn. He makes statements on social media
suggesting that he plans to kill police officers and
is angered about the Eric Garner and Michael Brown
cases. Authorities in Baltimore send a warning that he
has made these threats, but it is received at the same
time as the killings. The shootings, the chase, the
suicide and the failed bid to save the lives of the
officers turn a busy commercial intersection on the
Saturday before Christmas into a scene of pandemonium.
The city has seen some 300 killings so far this year,
a number so low as to be unheard-of two decades ago.

______

Acknowledgement: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/nyregion/two-police-officers-shot-in-their-patrol-car-in-brooklyn.html# | by Benjamin Mueller and Al Baker. Accessed November 30, 2017 and February 21, 2018.

Copyright © 2018 by Reggie Marra. From Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed (forthcoming, September 2018).

 

Sunny December New England Morning

Sunny December New England Morning

The children walk across the sunlit parking lot,
long December shadows falling to their left,
most, as rehearsed, hold their hands on the
shoulders of the child in front of them, some
cry, some look confused, some have their
heads down as two uniformed officers and
two plain-clothed women guide them away
from the building. The adults don’t yet know
the enormity of the day and while the children
know less, some are young enough to feel the
grownups’ discomfort amid the chaos of sirens,
lights, shouting and guns. Time will pass and a
Florida woman, who believes the parking lot
scene and all the events of this day are a hoax
will be charged with making death threats
against a parent of one of the twenty first-
graders killed. Other survivors will be harassed
by Americans who argue the event was staged
to erode support for the 2nd Amendment, and a
Connecticut man will be charged for allegedly
phoning in a threat to the new Sandy Hook
Elementary School which replaced the school
that was demolished after the massacre.

__________
Acknowledgement: http://beta.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-florida-sandy-hook-hoax-20161207-story.html |Accessed November 17, 2017. Photograph by Shannon Hicks / Newtown Bee via Associated Press)

Copyright © 2018 by Reggie Marra. From Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed (forthcoming, September 2018).

 

March 16, 2018: Found Poem #0

March 16, 2018: Found Poem #0

The number of children killed by gunfire
in the U.S. since the 2012 mass shooting
at Sandy Hook Elementary School
in Newtown, Connecticut,
surpasses the total of American soldiers killed
in overseas combat since 9/11,
according to a Department of Defense report.

__________
Source: http://www.newsweek.com/gun-violence-children-killed-sandy-hook-military-soldiers-war-terror-911-848602

Copyright © 2018 by Reggie Marra. From Killing America: Our United States of Ignorance, Fear, Bigotry, Violence and Greed (forthcoming, September 2018).