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four guns gone
Deathly faces exposed through cold glass;
A reminder to remember our humanity
Look past your own vanity
There’s no black plastic to hide behind now,
You can see the mortality in his eyes and the sweat on his brow,
The normality of this situation a broken vow;
He begs for his life with no words spoken
His legs shake, his hands are raised
You see the look in his eyes as he tries not to die;
You can taste the humanity now
It rolls down your tongue in bittersweet layers as you drop the gun,
The glass crashes onto the sidewalk
Leaving just shards of what it was before,
A reminder of how fragile life is
Once able to kill, it’s powerless now and so are you
But that power was just an illusion
able to escape to another day but this one will haunt him into the night
A child’s toy;
Some crayons that used to bring joy to a little girl
Who just wanted to make her mama happy,
Her drawings melted down into red waxy blood;
A corrupted innocence
But she doesn’t know the difference
She doesn’t know the real reason her daddy isn’t coming home,
With a shiny new box of Crayola crayons just for her
Tucked away in his pocket;
Her childhood toy turned childhood nightmare
Thunder cracked on sunny days without the natural reassurance of a storm.
She takes out her crayons to draw again,
But this time her mama takes away the box and melts the dangerous colors down,
So that they can’t hurt anyone ever again
More powerful than any weapon:
Wooden yellow writing utensils bringing hope to billions who dream of a brighter future-
Only to get shot down by those who are afraid of change.
They defile our peaceful sanctuaries with violence;
Filling the halls with a slippery silence as we hold tight to our right to read and write
The stink of oppression and pain filling the classrooms,
Leaving the inhabitants choking on injustice.
Seeking asylum, we shift through once joyful corridors
Swiftly treading on echoing, old floors
Backs pressed against cold, lifeless walls,
Trying to escape heavy foot falls approaching
The air cracks around an incomprehensible sound.
Fear and acceptance hang side by side as we are found.
Our breathy pants fall magnified into the quiet abyss-
We prepare to lose it all.
The world cracks for the final time as our ribs crack.
Killed by our own knowledge, our weapon of choice,
The lack of acceptance in the air creating a silent grave for we who dared to defy
For death is breathless.
But our schools should be deathless.
The sidewalk glows tonight;
A reminder to remember all of those whose lights have been blown out too soon,
No one remains immune in the fight against the heavy blue hurricane.
The light of a thousand candles burn bright against the darkest of nights;
But no one here fears this kind of darkness
They dread the black plastic that can bring storms over head and blow out their flickering
In their mind’s eye they can see the end,
A blue uniform adding to a devastating trend.
A pale finger on the trigger that can’t remember the value of each life,
His hands in the air, he’s just another young man trapped in this viscous strife.
Another young male who can already hear his mother’s pained wail as he joins the blown out.
Black birds caw and flock,
The clock drips down like wax melting off a candle
More than the sky can handle;
Blocking the sun and leaving the world in darkness
An ever present metaphor for death.
A soft breath blown over the barrel of a smoking gun.
As if to blow out the candle of someone’s life.