Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016



in Gun Violence/U.S. by

She is a little girl
No older than five
Her hand in her mother’s hand
Overalls under a pink, translucent cape

Green string holds
A cardboard sign around her neck
Two red handprints
Her hands
Messy purple marker
Her writing:
Am I Next?


Forty doctors
All in white coats
Posing for a picture

They stand behind
A butcher paper banner:
Gun Violence is a Public Health Issue
I talk to two doctors
One chatty
One silent
They are pediatricians, I discover
From hospitals all over the city

The silent one shows me her sign:
I won’t treat another bullet wound.


A little boy with ashy knees
Has just found his mother
He throws his arms around her neck
She smells his hair
Holds him to her
But no closer today
Than any other day



Some of the most powerful signs from the March for Our Lives [CNN]

Zoe Young is a writer and journalist living in San Francisco. In May of 2017, she completed her writing MFA at California College of the Arts. Before her MFA, Zoe chose the word of the day for, wrote live jazz reviews for Downbeat Magazine as the California state correspondent, acted as contributing dramaturge for the California Shakespeare Theater, and scripted plays for production at Berkeley Rep through playground SF (she still does that). Zoe is the founder and a proud member of the Finishing School Writer’s Workshop.

Photo by Victoria Pickering.

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