One by one, they file into the darkened chamber.
Their feet don’t make a sound.
Down the hallowed halls,
Through the locked doors,
Into our heart.
Small children, single file,
With a solemnity unnatural in kids their age.
Teenagers without chips on their shoulders.
Young parents, young teachers, young mothers
Who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time,
Or in love with the wrong person.
Grandmothers who were doing nothing
But praying in church
Or buying cornflakes
Or watching a movie.
Grandfathers who threw their bodies in front of children
Not their own.
They file in and take seats.
When the seats are taken, the aisles fill
And the gallery.
Behind the rostrum.
They sit at your desk.
They’ve heard enough thoughts and prayers.
What they want is life.
As they wait, they wonder
When did the rights of a machine,
An object made to kill,
Become more important than
The rights of a child to grow up
The rights of a mother to live free of fear
The rights of a grandmother to die in bed
Surrounded by those they love
Instead of in a street, church, grocery store, theatre,
When the doors open,
And the men in power file in
To repeat the same old lies
And cast the same old votes
The furies will be watching
The furies will remember.