What Mama Never Told Me
Mama told me to beware of danger--
look both ways before crossing the street,
don't play with matches or run with scissors,
stay in groups and
never take candy from strangers.
If you get lost or need help,
find a policeman.
I had to tell her where I was going
and she told me what time to be home--
it was always before dark.
When we went for family walks
my sister and I walked on the inside
so any runaway car or potential kidnapper
would have to get past her first.
Her children's safety was
Mama's number one priority.
She sent me to school
and took me to church;
we shopped at the mall
and went to the movies.
But she never warned me
that there might be
men with guns there
shooting at anything that moved.
I doubt she ever considered such a thing possible.
The only people who had guns
were policemen and soldiers,
and they were there to protect us.
Random gunmen opening fire on innocents
as they did their back to school shopping
was something she never dreamed of,
not even in her nightmares,
and if she did dream of such a thing happening,
I'm sure it was a single tragic event,
not a daily occurrence.
Yet this is the world we live in.
Mass murder every day
and the best they can offer is
thoughts and prayers.
I am glad my mother never
thought to warn me of these things.
I weep for the mothers whose children
live with this terror daily.
I wonder will it ever end.
~Elise Skidmore ©2019