waiting again

By Devin Alessi

waiting again
22 – 02 – 18
2:23 pm

this is the latest poem dedicated to the latest school shooting
to happen in our country.

By the end of this poem,
there will not be enough letters on this paper
to outnumber the number of children
that have been murdered in their classrooms.

There also won’t be enough words written,
or tears cried,
or rage filled americans wanting to make a change
to rival the numbers
written on the checks that the NRA
slips into politicians pockets
everytime a rifle is purchased,
for the school room or not.

So the government looks at their bank accounts
instead of into the faces of the american people
when asking if they’re doing a good job running the country,
and bullets keep on getting planted in children
who won’t ever get to grow up.

Everytime a shooting happens and
america hears the children’s screams
the politicians up on capitol hill
step down from their pedestals
to give the aching families and the kids
still full of bullet holes
their thoughts and prayers
before looking them in their eyes
and signing another bill
that allows more and more unhealthy, angry, empty americans
to get a gun and in doing so, they’re signing the death warrants
of thousands of children who will have a million dollar bullet
buried with them
when the next school shooting occurs.

Everytime I walk into my school
I could be laying down in my own grave
and thoughts and prayers
won’t revive me
when I’m dead.
thoughts and prayers won’t throw themselves
in front of the bullets
like the teachers have and will
when the next school shooter
with a semi-automatic rifle
pulls the trigger.

If it were a child of color
that was set loose on this school,
hunting down other children who are
undoubtedly cowering or crying or running for their lives,
imagine how many laws would be put in place
to make sure that people like them
could never be put in the same situation twice.
but since the white men on capitol hill
only look out for the white boys who find it in them
to pick up a gun
and mow others down,
we get their empty thoughts
and meaningless prayers
instead of a promise
that it won’t ever happen again.

Kids in america
have to grow up too soon
in order to stand better chance
surviving the school years
as they come and go.

eight year olds
throw out their light up sketchers
because they value their life more than their style because if a shooter chases them down the hallway
and their shoes are the first thing that he looks at,
that little girl or little boy
will be the first one to go.

I used to daydream in class
about the lunch bell ringing
or the boy that I found cute,
but now I analyze every classroom
and wonder where the best hiding places would be,
or which friends I’d take a bullet for,
or if god really exists
because there is so much praying being done
but why pray
when it shouldn’t have happened
in the first place?

I look at my friends and I tell them
“I would die for you”
and we all know that I mean it
because I might have to
any day now.
children are dying and being buried
by their parents all too soon
full of bullets and fear and missed opportunities.

Children are looking politicians in the eye
and begging them to save their lives
but the government doesn’t allow guns
on capitol hill
so the laws they write
don’t affect them.

There are 17 kids dead because of one
a single gun
In the hands of a messed up kid.

The land of the free
Is just a free for all
for anyone who wants to use violence
to get their way
and the people running our country
are really just running it into the ground.

They think they’re making
america great again
but they’re really just making
america wait again
for the next school shooting
that shakes us to our roots.

The next school shooting is bound to happen.
it may take months,
or weeks,
or even days
but the cycle always repeats itself.
There will never be enough
shooting drills
or mottos
or school meetings discussing the tragedies
to prevent more hearts to stop beating
in the same seats they learn in each day.

I wonder if it’ll ever be okay to talk about it
or if thoughts and prayers
are all they have.
i can’t decide whether we’re all too fragile around this issue
because we can’t stomach the idea of it
or if it’s happened so much already
that we can stomach it
and we do stomach it
and that’s why seventeen more children
with their whole lives ahead of them
wasn’t enough
isn’t enough
to make us change.

This was the latest poem dedicated to the latest school shooting
and I can only pray
even though praying won’t get me anywhere
that this one will be the last.

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