~ ~ ~
Hearts and flowers for St. Valentine’s Day?
A text sent and received with a smile.
Sneaking a kiss on the way to class?
All was right with the world.
Then come the sounds, the popping, the ricochet, the screams.
Valentine’s Day was just a dream, the red that runs the halls
The panic as refuge is sought, bodies crushing together.
Terror pulsing as bullets rain and shatter the innocence of children slain.
Children left with lifeless eyes and fear-filled hearts,
A text sent, “I love you, Mom. We’re being killed.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you. This was never what
I close my eyes against the scene, the rhetoric resounding
in my brain.
When I opened up my eyes, I saw
That the children were not there anymore.
In their place, a monument stood,
A memory of their childhood.
But from the smoke and apologies
An image rose and began to move.
The children—united—no longer children now
Will lead the way and show us the truth we have refused to see…
How blinded we can be.
© Linda Rettstatt, 2018