12 Mar

Within the space of a few words,
the length of one short sentence,
the classroom sank into silence.
Joy vanished, laughter fled,
propelled by a single word:

Second graders don’t often sit rigid
at their desks, eyes fixed on the one
who stretches their young minds.
No matter how many times she
told them not to be afraid,
they were.

Children watch television, overhear
conversations, whisper among themselves.
Danger has always been somewhere else.
Now the terrible possibility is just
beyond the chain link fence.
The stranger.  The gun.

“Be cautious on the playground.”
“Run to the nearest teacher.”
“Stay very quiet.  Be sure
all the doors are

Recess used to be fun.
Not anymore.
Not now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: