stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 18986
    [post_author] => 23
    [post_date] => 2018-06-15 15:30:59
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-15 15:30:59
    [post_content] => I could not be a mother in America.
I could not send my hypothetical little lad off
with a face soft as butter,
a camo backpack strapped to his sweet shoulders,
and eyes that are mine without the shadows
to school.
I could not send my made-up boy
to school in America.
I could not say goodbye to him in America,
five mornings a week in term time,
and wonder if I’ll ever get to say goodbye to him again
as I send him off in a place where it’s as easy to buy a gun
as it is for him to buy a Mickey Mouse pen --
harder,
because he needs a license to write in ink,
a background check of the angles and halo curves of his history on paper,
proof that he can handle the weapon
of split-second permanence.
I could not live in America
where a man could buy a gun to shoot my son
easier
than my son could get a pen to write his lessons with.
I could not hug my son in America
because a mother’s love is a lie in America
where children die in America
and nothing is done to keep them safe.
Where a mother’s love is
sending my son to school in America
with a doorstop in his backpack
and instructions to play dead
instead of play tag.
Goodbye in America
should be goodbye to guns
because
the good guy today
could be the bad guy tomorrow
could shoot my son in the head tomorrow
could shoot my son dead at school tomorrow
could write my son’s inkless story in blood tomorrow
could end my son’s today tomorrow.
Goodbye in America
should never
be goodbye to
my made-up baby boy.
Goodbye in America
should never
have ever been
goodbye to
the seven real children per day
that are shot dead
in America.
Goodbye
to the seven children
that America will
say goodbye to
today.
    [post_title] => Goodbye in America
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
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    [post_name] => goodbye-in-america
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    [post_modified] => 2019-09-04 15:46:53
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-09-04 15:46:53
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    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=18986
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => poems
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        (
            [wpcf-published-in] => 
            [wpcf-date-published] => 2018
            [wpcf-summary-description] => This poem is commended in the protest poetry challenge, remembering 100 years of the women’s vote in the UK, on Young Poets Network (YPN) in 2018.
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => Commended poem, protest poetry challenge
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        (
            [ID] => 18987
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Ellora Sutton
            [slug] => ellora-sutton
            [content] => Ellora Sutton is an MA student from Hampshire. She has won the Mslexia Poetry Competition, the Artlyst Art to Poetry Award, and the Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Competition. She tweets @ellora_sutton.

Ellora is the first-prize winner of the Carol Ann Duffy challenge on Young Poets Network, judged by Mari Hughes-Edwards, and celebrating Duffy's legacy as Poet Laureate. She is also the first-prize winner of Bailey Blackburn's 2018 August challenge #2 on found poems and the third Bloodaxe Archive challenge, The Re-Re-Re-Drafting Challenge. Ellora is also the second-prize winner in August challenge #4 on the poetics of interrogation, written and judged by Foyle Young Poet Kara Jackson in 2019. She is the third-prize winner of the Ode to (Small) Joy challenge and August Challenge #2: Fairy Tale Poetry.

Ellora is commended in the Keats challenge, part of The Poetry Society's celebrations of Keats's bicentenary in 2021; in the first, second and fourth Bloodaxe Archive challenges, The Poetics of the Archive, White Space and Take Note; the 2019 and 2020 poetry translation challenges with Modern Poetry in Translation; the Mary Wollstonecraft challenge, written and judged by Bee Rowlatt of the Mary on the Green campaign; the moon poetry challenge, judged by Nii Parkes; the Golden Shovel challenge, judged by Peter Kahn; the Bletchley Park challenge, judged by So Mayer; the W. S. Graham challenge judged by Rachael Boast as part of Graham’s centenary celebrations; and Ankita Saxena’s protest poetry challenge, remembering 100 years of the women’s vote in the UK.
        )

)
stdClass Object
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    [ID] => 18987
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Ellora Sutton
    [slug] => ellora-sutton
    [content] => Ellora Sutton is an MA student from Hampshire. She has won the Mslexia Poetry Competition, the Artlyst Art to Poetry Award, and the Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Competition. She tweets @ellora_sutton.

Ellora is the first-prize winner of the Carol Ann Duffy challenge on Young Poets Network, judged by Mari Hughes-Edwards, and celebrating Duffy's legacy as Poet Laureate. She is also the first-prize winner of Bailey Blackburn's 2018 August challenge #2 on found poems and the third Bloodaxe Archive challenge, The Re-Re-Re-Drafting Challenge. Ellora is also the second-prize winner in August challenge #4 on the poetics of interrogation, written and judged by Foyle Young Poet Kara Jackson in 2019. She is the third-prize winner of the Ode to (Small) Joy challenge and August Challenge #2: Fairy Tale Poetry.

Ellora is commended in the Keats challenge, part of The Poetry Society's celebrations of Keats's bicentenary in 2021; in the first, second and fourth Bloodaxe Archive challenges, The Poetics of the Archive, White Space and Take Note; the 2019 and 2020 poetry translation challenges with Modern Poetry in Translation; the Mary Wollstonecraft challenge, written and judged by Bee Rowlatt of the Mary on the Green campaign; the moon poetry challenge, judged by Nii Parkes; the Golden Shovel challenge, judged by Peter Kahn; the Bletchley Park challenge, judged by So Mayer; the W. S. Graham challenge judged by Rachael Boast as part of Graham’s centenary celebrations; and Ankita Saxena’s protest poetry challenge, remembering 100 years of the women’s vote in the UK.
)

Goodbye in America

Ellora Sutton

I could not be a mother in America.
I could not send my hypothetical little lad off
with a face soft as butter,
a camo backpack strapped to his sweet shoulders,
and eyes that are mine without the shadows
to school.
I could not send my made-up boy
to school in America.
I could not say goodbye to him in America,
five mornings a week in term time,
and wonder if I’ll ever get to say goodbye to him again
as I send him off in a place where it’s as easy to buy a gun
as it is for him to buy a Mickey Mouse pen —
harder,
because he needs a license to write in ink,
a background check of the angles and halo curves of his history on paper,
proof that he can handle the weapon
of split-second permanence.
I could not live in America
where a man could buy a gun to shoot my son
easier
than my son could get a pen to write his lessons with.
I could not hug my son in America
because a mother’s love is a lie in America
where children die in America
and nothing is done to keep them safe.
Where a mother’s love is
sending my son to school in America
with a doorstop in his backpack
and instructions to play dead
instead of play tag.
Goodbye in America
should be goodbye to guns
because
the good guy today
could be the bad guy tomorrow
could shoot my son in the head tomorrow
could shoot my son dead at school tomorrow
could write my son’s inkless story in blood tomorrow
could end my son’s today tomorrow.
Goodbye in America
should never
be goodbye to
my made-up baby boy.
Goodbye in America
should never
have ever been
goodbye to
the seven real children per day
that are shot dead
in America.
Goodbye
to the seven children
that America will
say goodbye to
today.