There is no gun in this poem.
No politicians. No money.
The children sit in classrooms. If a boy
pulls the fire alarm, it’s a dumb prank.
The closets are stuffed with buckets, brooms,
and broken tablets. The children’s blood
is under their skin. Some are learning
how it pumps from heart to artery to vein.
There are no heroes,
though teachers unpack books
they’ve paid for and the unthanked janitor
mops vomit in the hall.
The coach wonders which drills
will bring his team to victory,
not how many bodies
his bulk can shield. The news crews
are elsewhere with their helicopters and headlines.
Some kids play violent video games.
Some are angry and attack
with fists or catty Snapchat posts.
There is no AR-15. No fixed adjustable
front and rear iron sights. No
30-round staggered-column detachable
box magazine. No 25 rounds in 2.5 seconds.
The bell rings in this poem.
Children grab their backpacks and head home.