To Be on Tenterhooks is Not Okay

The mayor proclaimed
the community is on tenter-
hooks, while taking aim
at that which was to blame —
stretched to the point of
breaking (?) — or a state of
uneasiness, strain,
or suspense
the dictionary’s way.
Either way,
it’s not okay
for an American city
to feel stretched in that way.
The same
we could say
is the way
it is down El 
Paso way —
We should be floating
down the Rio Grande
not burying legislative heads
in the sand.
El Paso on tenterhooks,
not fishing bubbling brooks.
not the still, serene waters
of the bucolic Boundary Waters
but tenterhooks —
stretched to breaking
or a state of
uneasiness, strain,
or suspense
not a place
for American space
that makes any sense.
It makes sense
in the Chicago River
to paddle a canoe
or a kayak
or visit the Lincoln Park
or Brookfield Zoo
or in a National Park
go on a backpack
trip, but it isn’t okay
in this day
for cities to be
on tenterhooks —
maybe stretched
to breaking,
this very day.
It’s not okay.
It’s just not okay.
It’s simple:
CONTROL the guns
the mayor did say.

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