Darren Demaree, Emily As An Attempt At Gun Control

Darren Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review.

He is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, from 8th House Publishing). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.  

Currently he lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.  


A heart beats
only as long

as the bullets
allow it to.

Emily’s heart
is vulnerable

in that way.
You’d better

believe I know
that means

most of you
are a threat

& I will
be coming

for all
of your guns.


You cannot
hold your own
children tighter

when you need
both hands raised
to protect

the parade
of children barreled
up by madness.


The full thrum
of a white lady,
my love smiles

at our children
all of the time
& she never worries

about them
getting shot
& she never worries

about anything
other than money
(we’re all poor)

& when she watches
the news her fear
is manageable.

She has wept
for the other mothers.
She has clung to

their grief in one-
word sighs.
She has yet to yell.

How do I tell her,
my best person,
that she will need

to move away
from the center
she is protecting

if she’s ever going
to find a useful

for the anger
that is circling
all of us?

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