Jackson
#1
Jackson

In Uvalde, 19 kids went under
the gun. Who could expect them
to hold on for an hour?
Here in Virginia, Jackson has held on
beyond expectations
and unlike those kids in Texas
he'll get to turn 12,
yet with one foot planted firmly
on the other side.

His ravaged body has even grown
some hair.  And we live in hope
with each new lock.  He lives
knowing that any day
may be his last, yet holds fast
to a dream of that first slow dance;
that tight embrace; that first kiss.
And he feels lucky.

And I feel the sting
of looking to our kids
for courage. 



Jackson

In Texas, 19 kids went under
the gun. They could only hold out
for an hour.
Here in Virginia, Jackson has held out
for over a year
and he'll get to turn 12
with one foot planted firmly
on the other side.

His ravaged body has even grown
some hair.  And we live in hope
with each new lock.  He lives
knowing that any day
may be his last, yet holds fast
to a dream of that first slow dance;
that tight embrace; that first kiss.
And he feels lucky.

And I feel the sting
of looking to our children
for courage. 


[pre verse]
Jackson

Nineteen kids go under
the gun.  Yet, one survives
close by, who performs
a near miracle with every breath.
For a year, Jackson had one foot
firmly on the other side,
yet now he begins to grow
some hair.  And we live
in hope, with each new lock.
He knows any day could be
his last, yet he holds fast
to a dream of that first
slow dance;
that tight embrace;
that first kiss.
And he feels lucky.

And I feel the sting
of shame, that adults
now look to our children
for courage.
Reply
#2
(06-16-2022, 12:20 AM)Mark A Becker Wrote:  Jackson

Nineteen kids go under
the gun.  Yet, one survives
close by, who performs
a near miracle with every breath.
For a year, Jackson had one foot
firmly on the other side,
yet now he begins to grow
some hair.  And we live
in hope, with each new lock.
He knows any day could be
his last, yet he holds fast
to a dream of that first
slow dance;
that tight embrace;
that first kiss.
And he feels lucky.

And I feel the sting
of shame, that adults
now look to our children
for courage.

Hi Mark,

I think it would help me if there were a few more specifics about Jackson, e.g. "19 kids go under the gun (in Texas?), yet one survives close by".  Close by where?  How old is Jackson?  He must be a teenager I'm guessing, but that's a big spread.

Also mixed feelings about the final stanza.  It may be that phrase "sting of shame".  Maybe just "sting"?

That's all I got right now.  Thanks for the read.

Tim
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
Reply
#3
(06-16-2022, 10:18 AM)TranquillityBase Wrote:  I think it would help me if there were a few more specifics about Jackson, e.g. "19 kids go under the gun (in Texas?), yet one survives close by".  Close by where?  How old is Jackson?  He must be a teenager I'm guessing, but that's a big spread.

Also mixed feelings about the final stanza.  It may be that phrase "sting of shame".  Maybe just "sting"?

Tim

Thanks Tim-
Your comments are spot on.  What's clear in the writer's head is not for the reader, so I added some necessary details for clarity.
Mark
Reply
#4
The revision makes things a lot clearer
As I see it, Jackson is dying of cancer or some type of terminal disease.
The example of the latest Texas school shooting is just to show that they “held out”.
The “only” is confusing, nevertheless. Were they supposed to have shown a bit of gumption and lasted longer? I don’t think that’s the thesis here, so it comes across as a bit odd.
And even if you removed the “only”, one hour isn’t all that long. So the confusion remains.

Of course, I may have missed some specific cultural reference entirely
Reply
#5
I understand “
they could only hold out” as the horrific circumstances in which the 19 were - but i could see where it could come across as a judgement and VS Jackson - I did not see the original but the one with added details reads like a powerful piece - Using a current event to bring the reader in and make something personal to you relatable to all is very effective here - it allows the reader to feel pain and then relate it to Jackson and others that the reader knows -

If i were to add anything would be background on what happened to Jackson - but then again this is your piece to release as you please
Reply
#6
(06-16-2022, 12:20 AM)Mark A Becker Wrote:  Jackson

In Texas, 19 kids went under                  Most people will get the reference
the gun. They could only hold out          Their time was short.
for an hour.
Here in Virginia, Jackson has held out   The title.  Maybe change the title to give some addn'l context.
for over a year
and he'll get to turn 12
with one foot planted firmly
on the other side.

His ravaged body has even grown
some hair.  And we live in hope
with each new lock.  He lives
knowing that any day
may be his last, yet holds fast
to a dream of that first slow dance;
that tight embrace; that first kiss.
And he feels lucky.

And I feel the sting
of looking to our children                     I like the ending, I've been kicking around ideas about how the innocent pay the bills
for courage. 


Jackson

Nineteen kids go under
the gun.  Yet, one survives
close by, who performs
a near miracle with every breath.
For a year, Jackson had one foot
firmly on the other side,
yet now he begins to grow
some hair.  And we live
in hope, with each new lock.
He knows any day could be
his last, yet he holds fast
to a dream of that first
slow dance;
that tight embrace;
that first kiss.
And he feels lucky.

And I feel the sting
of shame, that adults
now look to our children
for courage.

Hi Mark,

I am going to disagree with the others.  I liked the concise writing of the original.  my suggestions above.  I don't think some of the specific details are that necessary to the theme.
steve
Reply
#7
(06-17-2022, 09:58 PM)brynmawr1 Wrote:  [quote="Mark A Becker" pid='260189' dateline='1655306420']
Jackson

In Texas, 19 kids went under                  Most people will get the reference
the gun. They could only hold out          Their time was short.
for an hour.
Here in Virginia, Jackson has held out   The title.  Maybe change the title to give some addn'l context.
for over a year
and he'll get to turn 12
with one foot planted firmly
on the other side.

His ravaged body has even grown
some hair.  And we live in hope
with each new lock.  He lives
knowing that any day
may be his last, yet holds fast
to a dream of that first slow dance;
that tight embrace; that first kiss.
And he feels lucky.

And I feel the sting
of looking to our children                     I like the ending, I've been kicking around ideas about how the innocent pay the bills
for courage. 

Hi Mark,

I am going to disagree with the others.  I liked the concise writing of the original.  my suggestions above.  I don't think some of the specific details are that necessary to the theme.
steve

Mark,

I like what you've done and I like most of Bryn's suggestions, except the striking of the locations.  Today and for a while people will get the reference to Uvalde, but in three months?  Not so sure.  I think it places it firmly in a particular time, important for Jackson's story.  (You might even use Uvalde instead of Texas).

Tim
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
Reply
#8
Hey folks,
I very much appreciate the comments and suggestions. 
I incorporated some of your ideas in the latest revision.
For now, I think I'll let this one sit, and simmer.
Thanks,
Mark
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