March 5, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Barry Stock photo



Amy Aves Challenger




tell us the names of the killers



tell us the names of the


of the man

the grocer

the sports store owner

the legislator who

supports the automation
of death

assembling lines of lightening

quick thirsty


crafting names creative

(How bout AR-15 that’s catchy!)

enough to kill

a row of little classmates

to bury liberty in tiny


while the rest of us tweet

what’s national about a rifle

holes dug full of 17 dreams

what’s American about killing

a child, the liberty of a classroom

what’s debatable about

the pursuit of perks

about picketing on steps

and streets and


broken and angry

and weeping…


tell us


tell us the names of the






pow pow



“pow pow”

his fingers pointed and spoke

his pretty lips smacked and blew

round holes of little words

like new buds

“pow pow”

a twelve year old

could barely speak my language but

“pow pow”

he said again

“papa” his eyes turned downward

like fading moons

“your father?” I asked

“your papa?” I asked again

(why does this surprise you stupid

I thought…)

eyes barely dry

warm throat barely swallowing

the truth

(of course his father)

we opened the gate

“In Syria?” I asked

his head shaking, his body moving on

“I’m sorry,” squawked my words

panging against his soft coat

down to a concrete floor

bouncing about bare brown walls

drying with cigarette smoke

where refugees huddled

and little boys told short short stories

to pamper people

like me

who would leave this place

anytime we liked

“pow pow”

he said

(how… I thought







Amy Aves Challenger

Amy Aves Challenger is an American expat living in Switzerland who writes essays, fiction, poetry and opinion work published in Washington Post, Huffington Post, MOPS International Magazine, Brain, Child Magazine and other publications. Her poetry and short story have been published in an anthology Secrets and Dreams by Kind of a Hurricane Press, and she’s attempting to finish a novel about a family raising a child with differences. Additionally she’s gathering her poetry into a chapbook while leading creative writing workshops in Zürich Switzerland and volunteering to work with refugee kids and families weekly.

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1 Comment

  1. Melanie March 06, at 03:20

    Strong and sad. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?!


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