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Intervention, a poem by David Garyan


I’m tired of your moments of silence,

especially before baseball games;

they’re sickening to watch.

You’ve had enough hush, America.

Why don’t you have more

shootings with no-hitters?

How long should we let you continue?

America, stillness isn’t respect.

Should we wait until we can do nothing

more except stay quiet the whole day?

I don’t want to reach the point

where we must observe 24 hours of solitude

just so all the dead can be properly honored.

Your tragic expressions on the news

no longer mean anything to me.

You’re like a heroin junkie

who says he can quit shooting up any time,

but refuses to attend rehab.

How long must we endure watching you die

until you finally overdose on bullets?

America, if I was your parent,

my knees would go weak

holding your dead body in my arms;

excuse me, but I’ve chosen to love you

and disown you as well.

No, I can’t feel sorry for you anymore

unless you start feeling sorry for yourself

and begin to improve.

America, you’re not welcome here anymore;

sleep on the street, if you must.

I will no longer supply your guns.

I don’t care how bad your withdrawals get.

You can shoot rubber bullets

if it’ll make you feel better.

I won’t pay attention to your pleas or sympathies

until you decide to put down

your track-marked arms

and go seek some treatment.

I’m always yours, America,

and maybe you also belong to me,

but your suffering

doesn’t affect me anymore.

Die next to a dumpster, if you will,

but don’t come running to me for help.

I don’t care.

You’re no longer a son;

you’re no longer a daughter.

I refuse to treat you that way.

To me, you’re just like all the other addicts

I pass every day driving to work.

Why don’t I care about helping them?

Get the fuck out of my house, America;

I’m sorry to disown you,

but I’m not sorry for you.

I’m only doing what all good

parents should do.

If you want to live here,

you’ll have to grow up.

You’re sick and you need help;

you won’t get better

until you accept this.

America, don’t call me “father”

and don’t call me “mother.”

Any news of your suffering

doesn’t upset me anymore;

it just sounds disgusting.

America, maybe I’m lying.

Maybe I still want to be your parent;

it’s hard to see you die

on the streets of El Paso and Dayton,

but it seems impossible to save you—

you never listen,

and always get defensive.

August 2019


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