worse than a fire drill This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 24, 2018

attention students, this is a lock down drill
quick, switch off the lights
find your corner, make your eyes adjust fast
it’s colder in the dark

quick, switch off the lights
don’t hit the chair; it’s too loud
it’s colder in the dark
but my sweater’s across the room

don’t hit the chair; it’s too quiet
in here, the silence makes me want a safety blanket
but my sweater’s across the room
i glance around, no one seems comfortable

in the corner, the silence makes me listen to their breaths
inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale
around the room, no one seems comfortable
i want to cry; no, it’s a drill

inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale
is it just me or is the breathing getting heavier?
i won’t cry during a drill
my sobs would echo on the metal desk we’re next to
is it just me or is the breathing getting heavier?
if i lay on the ground under the desk
and silence my cries so they don’t bounce off the metal desk 
it’s less likely the bullets will hit me

if i lay on the ground surrounded by friends
i’d want to bury my face in their shoulders
make the smell of shampoo shield me so it’s less likely a bullet will hit me
i shouldn’t have to chase these ideas out of my head

i bury my face in the darkness of the room
the doorknob rattles, but no light floods in
everybody’s breathing becomes lighter
students, your lock down drill is over






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