Santa Monica College:

Carnage & Innocence


I was two blocks away

too close to the fray

repairing my car

to take me far — away from

gunfire on a sweet campus

set for finals the last day

but now to pray

for life —

no longer a final A

from a brilliant essay

students facing a lone gunman

dressed in black

taking his time

to clear the track

of painful memories

A divorce in progress

his parents together no more

so he must wipe out others

to even the score


Helicopters buzzing

the tropical California sky

fire trucks, police cars who endlessly try

remedies for the situation

scenarios like those that have overtaken our nation

glorifying violence birthed for a profit

and to entertain youth unequipped

to stop it — ignorantly obsessed —

who cannot differentiate

between precious life

and the depiction of death on a screen

that lasts but a moment

then — back to fantasy

so the truth is not seen

the carnage, the pain, the inner scream.


Obama is left waiting

at a fundraising event

since gun sales continued

with supplies to the decadent.

An impasse in Congress

leaves bodies to bless

and few apologies offered for duress.

Futures now ruined by life distorted

from a killer secretly aided and escorted

by our government whose values

no longer protect — with actions misspent

while gun sales soar against the innocent.


My car takes me away

but what of those ambushed that day?

Best wishes.


Elizabeth Scher

Santa Monica



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