Broken

                                                                           Broken
A trucker walks into a synagogue…

I
t sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s not.

Not a joke when this trucker is a crazed anti-Semitic
looking for somewhere to aim his misguided blame
Not when he perpetrates another of the countless massacres
that have become the wretched lore of America’s shame
Not a joke when any old trucker from Pennsylvania
can inexplicably have twenty-one guns registered in his name

It’s not the least bit funny when this same old story happens every other day.
It’s called the same old story, because the same old story is always the same.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same old story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the devastation
Sickening me again, as a broken system cracks
Resonating again, as a broken person snaps
The devastation of every other day
The anger, the heartache, the vast impacts
The scourge of so many weapons, the same cold facts
So many lives,
changed in the worst way
Lost, in the devastation,
of every other day

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A young couple decides to start a family…

It sounds like a very nice story, until it’s not.

A young mother pulls on her favourite boots,
excited about
a long-awaited night out with her friends
Drinks and dancing, and all the best intentions,
missing her daughter more with every text she sends
Her husband sends her a photo of their peaceful sleeping baby,
never imagining, that tonight, his wife’s life abhorrently ends

Yet another lost name on the long, sad, deplorable list of every other day.
Three more victims of a system that breaks far more often than it bends.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same sad story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the desolation
Weakening me again, as a broken system fails
Resonating again, as a broken child wails
The desolation of every other day
The anguish, the heartbreak, the immense scale
The weight of so many coffins, so many final nails
So many lives stolen
So many broken
So many changed
Changed, in the worst way
The same sad news
The same sad reality
The same desolation,
every other day
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Applause

Applause

I’ve been here many times,
as their childhood has flown past

Sitting alone in the crowd
smiling, and having a blast
A proud, dedicated single parent
gathering memories that will last

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She weaves her way through a defense

that had previously refused to yield
Deft footwork and bursts of speed
guide her down the field
I spring from the edge of my seat
as a late victory is sealed

My legs, energized by her exploit
My lungs, filled with a rush of air
An abrupt acknowledgment of her endeavor
as I quickly rise up from my chair
Emphatic words in a father’s approval
ecstatic to be right there

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I see my teenage powerhouse
as she tumbles across the floor
A round-off and a back handspring
My gasp, and then a perfect two more
An exalted, frightening, wonderful feeling
that resonates to my core

My stomach, churning when she jumps
My heart, leaping when she lands
The uniquely exhilarating anguish
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put down the camera
to free up my hands

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The impetus for my applause
Feats that constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My two hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


It seems to me that it’s a graceful gazelle
that suddenly emerges from the pack
Anticipating the exact moment
from my spot along the track
As she glides around the final curve
the others get further and further back

My mind, racing with her to the finish
My senses, tingling from the start
The extent of her accomplishments
matching the size of her heart
Knowing the work ethic and the effort
that always set her apart

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Being early gets me a good seat
Dead center, given the chance
Oblivious of my surroundings
I listen to her play, I watch her dance
Happily lost, inside of myself
My own choice, my soul circumstance

My eyes, no matter what her stage
My ears, for any of the bands
The selfish, singular focus
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put the program down
to free up my hands

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The inspiration for my applause
Daughters who constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My t
wo hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


Sitting alone, in the crowd

as each new season has passed
Thankful for each new memory
as time ticks by so fast
Never wondering, or worrying,
if this one will be the last

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