Journalism In Verse

inbal-marilli-3425

At Marshall County High School

in Gun Violence/U.S. by

Instead of only bells, a popping started
near nine—the pain, a bright red handkerchief
that wasn’t across the girl’s face. I hope never
to hear the sound of it at the high school where I teach.
But I’ve imagined it. You look to the windows first,
though you probably won’t be anywhere close
to them. You imagine a thick rope tightly secured
to a desk leg—but you can’t bring a rope to school
and the desk is likely too light to support more than one
student at a time. Would I hurry down first? The thought
of my own son and daughter fatherless, unbearable.
Would I simply shove them out of the way? Or,
would I be like the saintly ones in Kentucky, today,
who tried to scoop as many students as they could into
their rooms. Authorities, again, hope to find a motive.
But motives are hardly trenchant. One student said
he climbed the fence and ran through the forest with others.
I can see them—like multicolored smears, clutching phones,
screaming, shadows beholden to gravity. One might lose
an arm and he already designated “special needs.”
A victim of tragedian days, now a silent, uprooted plant.
I’d just run very fast, though I’d help whomever I could.
Gone are the sometime fantasies one has of fighting—
of snatching the gun from his gluey hands and either
talking him down, or transforming one eye into a hole.

 


Alejandro Escudé’s first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Photo by Inbal Marilli.

Latest from Gun Violence

imageeee

Learning

By Vivian Parkin DeRosa. Scientific inquiries from a high school student instructed
Go to Top