‘Be safe out there.’ (a poem)

Not an ekphrastic poem, but a response to the news—with yet another video…

We say this knowing full well
that it may not be safe out there—
not these days

We say this knowing full well
that you can do everything right—
but still not come home

We say this knowing full well
that the consequences of doing nothing
may be beyond your control

We say this knowing full well
that their safety is their main concern—
not yours, not even ours

We say this knowing full well
that we may not want to answer the phone when it rings
and you’re not home yet

We say this knowing full well
that we may hear about it first
on the eleven o’clock news

We say this knowing full well
that we could never imagine it happening—
but will end up seeing it for ourselves

We say this knowing full well
that you may not come home—
you may not come home…

We say this knowing full well
that God sometimes says no
to our prayers—

but we say it anyway:
‘Be safe out there.’

(19 September 2016)

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