-for Joshua S. Blough, 28, shot/died in Elizabethtown, KY 7/7/2015
Somewhere a family mourns
In your town the pleasant fields are quiet
fruit of the vine quivers in dew
sky covers itself in sackcloth
A neighbor calls for a welfare check
You answer with your knife
Weapon of passion, of close contact
Statement perhaps of festered pain
How could they shoot you down
so quickly, remove your life
take your voice, a voice that cries
Joshua you left us and we mourn
We will lament with howls
No oil will touch our heads
Joshua’s voice is silenced!
Twenty-eight years of breath
Your newborn cry relieved your mother’s pain
Your laugh made others laugh
Your voice comforted a friend
You walked among us
In other times than that day
Times of fulfillment
Times of past
Shannon P. Laws lives in Bellingham, Washington. She is a Peace Poet sister
This poem was created for “Lament for the Dead” project. Thank you Carey for this intense project.
LAMENT FOR THE DEAD IS AN ONLINE COMMUNITY POETRY PROJECT WHICH WILL MARK THE DEATH OF EVERY PERSON KILLED BY POLICE THIS SUMMER, AND EVERY POLICE OFFICER WHO LOSES LIFE IN THE LINE OF DUTY, WITH A POEM.
“The first lie that hate tells us is that any other person is not as human as we are.
This project resists that lie by recognizing each other’s humanity, even in the most difficult places.
Some people believe all people killed by police are criminals.
Some people believe the police are criminals.
Many people believe no criminal deserves lament.
But this project asks us to seek the humanity in all people, even when we have committed terrible crimes.
At heart, it asks whether we hope someone might offer grace to us, at our ugliest or most difficult moments.”