last week the fire alarm went off
everyone filed out of their classrooms
but my teacher told us to wait
until the intercom buzzed and
told us there was a fire
he didn't say why
but we all knew.
yesterday we had a lockdown drill
the alarm blared and they told us to
lock the door
stack the desks
pile on the chairs
hide under the remaining tables
away from the windows
always away from the windows
make sure they don't know where you are
my teacher never told us who
but we all knew.
yesterday my english teacher apologized to us
not in so many words
that she was sorry we were inheriting
such a shitty world.
a shitty world where we have to practice
barricading ourselves in the classrooms to hide from shooters
where we can't walk out the door if the alarm goes of until we're totally sure
said shooter isn't roaming the halls
where we never talk about it outright but
we all know.
tomorrow it's going to be the same
the next time i hear about a shooting my stomach will churn
but there'll be that slight twinge of relief
one more time it wasn't my school
one more time i'm safe.
the day after that
the week after
we'll keep hearing about those shootings.
we'll hear about those high schoolers
those innocent, wide-eyed
with their whole lives ahead of them
and every time we do
the shock might feel less real
the gut-wrenching feeling of imagining the family's pain
might subside even quicker
because whether we see it or not
we're becoming numb.
whether it's practicing how to hide under desks
or reading about the four-hour lockdown in the next county over
it's less and less surprising to us because it's so...
today is the day we have to do something
to change this scary level of normal
before tomorrow becomes the nightmare
we're so relieved to avoid.
our inheritance of a shitty world
can become the gift of a
to the next generation
and the generation after that.
it shouldn't be about dodging the bullet this time
but making sure that nobody else
ever has to.