Fireworks


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SAINT LOUIS STORY STITCHERS ARTISTS COLLECTIVE

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2019

STAND DOWN / RISE UP

Respect and Redirect

STAND DOWN / RISE UP Respect and Redirect is an exploration of African Americans throughout Missouri’s history that have impacted gun violence.

PERFORMANCE

Monday, February 18, 2019President’s Day

10:00 Juvenile Detention Center (No pubic audience)

2:00 – 3:00 PM Gateway Arch National Park

Mezzanine (Public)

Note: If government is shut down the event will be held at
Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N Grand Blvd, 63103, 2:00-3:00 PM

This project is supported by Missouri Foundation for Health, Incarnate Word Foundation, Missouri Humanities Council, and Gateway Arch National Park.

Antigone Recites to Poem. Click HERE.

Fireworks

by Antigone Chambers-Reed

 

  1. My mother says

Hearing gunshots at night causes PTSD

Furthermore that denial of these claims

Are symptoms of such

I should tell her

The sound of gunshots popping is my

Lullaby at night

That my dreams are plagued with the constant

Bickering

Of two peoples trauma and ego

That sometimes at night

When my heart hurts for the families of this confusion

I imagine color displays

Of fireworks

Pray that a child can see the illusion I created

Instead of a hand holding a gun

Be comforted to sleep at night

  1. When seconds count

And

The police take minutes

Perhaps if they come at all

What will I do for protection?

Maya Angelou says,

A woman needs some sort of protection

But I am not yet a woman and

My biggest advantage is my determination

When the option is to be taken advantage of

Or protect myself

My family

Who steps to a gun fight with a knife

Of sharp tongues, sharp nails, and bitter fight

When my welcome mat has not been laid out willingly

And my bravado

and bravery

have been slammed against the wall

Proper firearm training might stop my heart from quivering

Fright from wrapping its frigid fingers around my knees

“I do like to have guns around”

  1. My family taught my mother and I

How to properly operate a firearm

Both hands on the weapon

Brace yourself

Aim to Maim and not to kill

While necessary

My opposition pushed at

The part of me where I hold my comfort

I pick up a firearm

At the same time

A man picks up a gun

I aim

While he takes off the safety

I take a deep breath out of nervousness

He breathes shallowly and pushes his

Anger, frustration, fear, and self-preservation

Through his gun

Together

We

Pull the trigger

Through my eyes

I hit a can

Through his, a street soldier falls

3 ½. Some part of his resolve withers

And he looks at

His hands

For a second

The misjudgment and guilt

Erases the color from his skin

For an instant, he assumes the power

Of a God

Let’s his fear fall off

Like a coat

Reminisces and wonders

If the soldier’s life

Was worth his own

  1. I view firearm education

As a form of gun control

When the situation is dire

One wrong misstep may cost your

Life

Be it then, or the last times you

Forgot

To clean your gun

I view counseling as a form of gun control

While not the save all to all

Ills of unprocessed emotional luggage

Therapy

Paired with properly maintaining, handling, and cleaning

A firearm

Might have a chance at saving the life of a girl

With the curiosity of a cat

Who dreams of color displays of fireworks

 

 

 

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