Response to Yusuf Komunyakaa’s “Shotguns”

By Sujata Iyengar

I: The Litany

Teens and Children Killed by Gun Violence in Georgia, Jan 1 to March 16, 2018 (from

Jashun Ingram, 17 months old
Nacari Newson, 15 years old
Ga’Quavious Williams, 17 years old
Montaego Maxwell Jr, 18 years old
Jalen Camron, 17 years old
John Cooksey Jr, 12 years old
Carlos Davis II, 15 years old

II: The Silence









III: The Shovel: “To Run Home And Grab Daddy’s Gun”

At 17 months, you can expect your baby to
Show more independence and maybe start to run
Away from you. Now is the time to toddler-proof your home,
If you haven’t already. Don’t hold baby while you’re cooking a meal, and
Do put safety catches on the toilet bowl and the medicine cabinet! Toddlers grab
Batteries, Tylenol, TidePods, cotton balls, quarters, forks, food bags, or even Daddy’s
Keyboard! Here’s a short video on how to hold baby safely while you’re carrying a gun.

About the Author

Sujata Iyengar teaches English at the University of Georgia. Inspired by a year in UGA’s Art School, she recently began writing free and formal lyrics, some of which appear in a few “little magazines” in print and online, including Lunch: A ReviewMezzo CamminUpstartUnsplendid; and Measure.


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