March 20, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Julian Meehan photo



Steve Denehan




Pew Pew



I woke this morning to the news of another mass shooting



while crunching cereal with my daughter

and gazing out at the beginning of a blustery winter-spring day

we listened to outrage, shock and disgust flood from the radio

the sound of people trying desperately not to become numb to it all

the sound of people pointing fingers


my daughter reached across the table and put her hand on mine

I looked at her and she smiled, lit from within

“This juice is lovely Dad.”


we dashed to the car, in a hurry as always

cranked the music up

drove like the wind

and made it

by the skin of our teeth

running and laughing across the car park

as the school door closed slowly

“But teeth don’t even have skin! That is absolutely ridiculous Dad!”


I continued on to the physio who pulled

and poked

and dug

and talked about the shooting

49 people dead

an enormous atrocity

small talk


fluid on the knee

damage to my cruciate ligament

tendinitis all over

advanced tendinopathy in both Achilles tendons

I thought of him, Achilles

dead in his twenties

over three thousand years ago

the result of an injury sustained in a war

men against men

women against women

people against people

murder borne of stupidity

stupidity as pure as sunlight


we strive to inoculate, to cure, to prevent, to improve

only to be continually beaten

by the common cold

and stupidity

and we point guns

and we point fingers

at others

when really

we should point them at ourselves






Steve Denehan

Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. Recent publication credits include The Irish Times, The Phoenix, The Blue Nib, The Opiate, The Hungry Chimera, Evening Street Review, Ink in Thirds, Crack The Spine and The Cape Rock. He has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and his chapbook, “Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong” is available from Fowlpox Press.

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