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A. S. , Location: At Home off Campus

8:18 p.m.

It was Monday night

Thought I might

Check in with work

Before I turned out the light

Because I like to be prepared

Gunshot warning

Checked in as safe

Didn’t know where it was

Or the price we would pay

There’s no such thing as

Wrong time, wrong place

Not these days

You could be getting coffee

Or seeing a movie

Going to church

Or shopping for dinner

These kids were learning

And now we’re mourning

Their only crime was to exist

In a time as hateful as this

But I must remember

This is a uniquely American problem

I’m not numb but I haven’t cried yet

I don’t know what the word is

For what’s happening in me

But I’ve struggled to sleep

Every night since

And I don’t want to remember my dreams

And I was so close but safe at the same time

Listening to sirens and helicopters all night

While kids were frozen in place for hours

Trying not to wake up the automatic lights

Hiding in bathrooms and praying under their desks

Texting their loved ones and holding their breath

Traumatized for life

And some going through this

For the second time

One man

(More than) one gun

Didn’t care about anyone.

Fuck your thoughts and prayers,

Said a politician

I try to look for the helpers

So I don’t feel helpless

I stay up on the news

Like it makes me connected

Which must mean I’m protected,


This isn’t a drill

I know what to do

Sign, donate, educate

Sign, donate, educate

Even though it’s all too late

But not for the ones still here

The love of power

The right to own weapons

Or the power of love

The right to safe education

When will we choose differently?

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