Dear Shooter,

Rachel Ullah

Bloodstains left
on the sidewalk
Body bags,
Yellow tape,
Why don’t you think about the consequences
You’re going to have to face?
Or the families
What are you affecting everyday?
What made you live like this?
Is it
What have you been through?
I’m not talking about in the streets,
I’m speaking of the internal pain,
the unseen,
the pain that creeps ,
I’m talking about, the trauma
that stood with you
And today triggers and feeds off
your emotions,
I’m talking about the money you never had until you started flaunting
I’m talking about the
the power you never felt
Until you held the gun
in your hand
I’m talking about emotionally
because you believe
nobody will understand

Is it self defense ,
that made you take so far?
Or is it you never thinking you
would do any harm?
Did you black out thinking about
All the things you allowed in the past?
Or Are you not scared to die
You don’t realize
this too shall pass?
Are you tired of fighting, and
screaming out for attention
Are you trying to prove a point
No one listens?
Are you screaming out for spiritual intervention
Or is it something I’m missing, I’m listening …

Rachel Ullah is a violence interrupter, outreach worker, and Assistant Program Manager for True2Life, an anti-gun violence organization. She is a credible messenger, poet, and author who is considered a change agent.