As a child, a refugee child,
My Mama taught me Caution.
Run from the marauders of the streets,
Especially those carrying guns
Beyond their natural height.
Run from machete wielding persona.
Run from The Toothless Angered,
They’re mastered by the powers du jour.
Run for dear life.
If speed is of essence,
Drop your school books upon the dusty path,
Make it home,
To your Mama’s anxious arms.
Pray you do,
And live another hour
As a child, an American child,
The ghosts of yonder history hovered.
Waiting their turn to fully manifest,
My Mama taught me,
Before I was double digits,
To be cautious out there.
The marauders, the ghosts, the egregious,
The Toothless Angered
Will menace my being.
Don’t run for dear life.
Learn to stay still
There is nowhere to run.
Nowhere to stay still,
Except in shocked death.
No school books dropped on a dusty road,
They lay stained in unrequited blood along the school hallway.
Bullet strewn sidewalks splatter my paths.
The Toothless Angered
Are again mastered,
The daily Puppets of Avarice
Sanctuary is a scarcity in my universe
While The Toothless Angered,
With ample, unjustified impunity,
Continue to menace my being.
Pray I make it home Today, and all Tomorrows,
To my Mama’s anxious arms,
So I can hug her.
And just once, of many more, say
I love you Always
The wrenching ritual has become all too familiar to President Obama. His armored limousine deposits him at a nondescript building big enough to hold a large number of families whose loved ones have died in a mass shooting somewhere in America. Away from the news cameras that normally track his every interaction, he enters rooms thick with grief and the hushed voices of people in shock. He grasps for words of sympathy, comfort and condolence and offers long, tight embraces that the mourners will remember far more vividly than his words. Mr. Obama will travel to Orlando, Fla., on Thursday for the latest round of mass consoling, four days after a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in American history. “He hugged each one of us individually — and I mean hug, so that I was able to smell his cologne,” said Sharon Risher, 57, who lost her mother,
Ethel Lance, and two cousins in the shooting in Charleston, S.C., last year, and met privately with Mr. Obama the next week. “It was not a little pat on the back. The intimacy of that hug is what I’ll always remember.” Roxanna Green — whose 9-year-old daughter, Christina-Taylor Green, was one of six people killed in a 2011 shooting in a supermarket parking lot in Tuscon, Ariz., where Representative Gabrielle Giffords was holding an event — said she had campaigned for Mr. Obama with her daughter and mother and had often dreamed of meeting him. “But you never want to receive a visit like that from anybody,” Ms. Green, 50, said in an interview. “Their hugs were just long and genuine, like something you receive from a family member,” she said of Mr. and Mrs. Obama. “He said she was a beautiful girl, and he’s so sorry, and it was just a horrible loss and his girls are about the same age,” she recalled. “They were both very, very emotional. It was like it happened to someone in their family.”
First Lady Michelle Obama takes questions from children for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. The children of Executive Office employees and young people from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, SchoolTalk and the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency asked questions about her pets, her favorite food (pizza), what she plans to do after leaving the White House and why she chose President Obama as her husband