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Jun 25
Scene and Heard
Something’s Not Right

photo by Ali Hunsberger

photo by Ali Hunsberger

Something Is Not Right
A Poem
In memoriam, Charleston, South Carolina
17 June 2015

by Debra Hiers

So, this young white boy walks into one of the oldest,
most revered African-American churches in Charleston, SC
to sit down and pray in Bible study with the church members —
his mental state, a deranged, but calm, psychosis simmering.
Nobody saw it coming, though the vacancy in his eyes might have betrayed it —
when suddenly, this devil-made-me-do-it despicable shadow puppet of white
supremacist culture broke through his chest like an alien relic of the KKK —
and he started shooting people.

He got a gun for his journey into manhood, a gift for his 21st birthday.
But what was it that caused him to take hold of it this night inside God’s house?
That is the question, isn’t it?
This young man betrayed his own humanity, and something is not right here.
This gun, these bullets, too many bullets, nine precious beautiful lives lost.
Something is just not right here, and even these words can do this no justice.
Even these words are just a story, just a narrative looking for a resolution,
looking for an explanation, looking to ease the pain, buyback some blame.
But it just keeps coming back to this final resting place —
that something, something is terribly wrong with this picture.
Why does this young man have a gun in his hand?
Something is not right here. Something is not right.
Can we all just see that for a minute? and stop —
stop right where you are, don’t take another step.
Think about it – what just happened here, what continues to happen.
Just feel it, let your broken-heart cry.

© Debra Hiers, 20 June 2015, Atlanta, GA

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1 response to “ Something’s Not Right ”
  1. Shastri Charlene Leung
    Jul 15, 2015

    Thanks for asking questions. We need support to not loose heart and to keep asking questions in our search for answers. Support for the asking and discovering may be found on these two links from Buddhists for Racial Justice.


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