DANCING WITH A MUSTANG
FRANKLIN REGIONAL H.S.
By Dr. Mel Waldman
The soul-shattering news alert bit me in the face, cut me up, opened old wounds, and rushed into my bloodstream. I heard the excruciating echoes of the past. And I thought about wild horses and my father’s horse story.
“It bit me in the face when I was a kid,” he said nonchalantly. “Guess I wasn’t looking, son. Got this pretty scar, right here in my left cheek,” he pointed proudly, grinning wickedly, his gold teeth glittering in the sprawling sun on the Coney Island Boardwalk. We sat on a wooden bench, devoured Nathan’s hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut and sizzling French fries with thick globs of ketchup. And Father told multicolored stories of good and evil.
Maybe it was his right cheek. I can’t recall. But he rode horses in his youth in the Austrian wilderness, perhaps the small, chestnut Haflinger or Avelignese stallions.
I drifted off again and danced with a Mustang in Inner Space, swirled around the Land of Daydreams, clutching barefoot hooves that cut my olive hands, for the horny covering stabbed my flesh as the majestic beast rose toward the Heavens;
although I tried to tame the Mustang in my head, I couldn’t; not on this day of unfathomable evil and chaos at Franklin Regional H.S. in Murrysville, PA, when a 16-year-old-boy stabbed 20 innocents, 19 students, and 1 adult in the early morning of this phantasmagoric day, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. The boy’s in custody. The critically ill have been airlifted to a hospital. Some are in surgery right now as I write this unreal poem.
I do not understand the rhythm and flow of violence. But evil is here and now, and apparently, it comes in hidden patterns and random acts; and it thrusts itself into our lives, I believe, like a thick knife slashing our skin and cutting deep into our flesh and bones; and piercing and penetrating our psyches and contaminating our souls; it enters and violates us and it happens again and again.
I do not understand. I drift off again. Dancing with a Mustang in Inner Space, I try to tame the omnipotent beast in my head. Perhaps, tomorrow I will subdue it. And I dream that one day, you too will tame the wild stallion in your head.