Forever Tied

Delicate petals
Painted purple
And white
Pale yellow
Center
Completing
The bloom

Caught my eye
In a moment
Of exhaustion
A welcomed pause
To catch my breath
What is your name?
Need to keep moving
A quick photograph
To research later…

Images of you
Graced the walls
Of a coffee shop
Artfully framed
Thoughtfully
Displayed
Carefully labeled
With the answer
I was seeking

Kneeling down
I read the card
Unexpected
Sadness
At the realization
Your name is
Forever tied
To a senseless
Act of violence-

Columbine-

Delicate petals
Painted purple
And white
Pale yellow
Center
Completing
The bloom-

Quick to Dismiss

You and I have
A difference
Of opinion
As far as
Differences
Of opinion go
Since an opinion
Is quite often
Not completely
Based on facts
Perhaps we could
Put this one aside
Yes, it seems
Important now
Emotions heightened
With every discussion
But is it worth dismissing each other?
Flesh and blood
Heart and soul
Isn’t it worth attempting a connection?
If our hands could
Briefly touch
Surely our hearts
Would follow

President Biden spoke last evening concerning the epidemic of gun violence in our country. His words expressed sadness, compassion, and anger. His call to action was passionate as well as logical.

So many lives were lost. Families destroyed. Are we so stuck and stubborn in our thoughts and opinions? Is there no room left for compromise? I refuse to believe that is true.

A Matter of the Heart

I have a storage closet inside my music classroom. Shelves lining both walls hold musical instruments. There are stacks of chairs in one corner and drums in the other.

At various times in the year, certain sets come out.

There is a narrow walkway between the shelving.

More than once this school year, I’ve glanced in there with the following thought: would I be able to fit an entire class of students in here? I’m not sure. If I quickly moved some things out. But would there be enough time?

That is where I stop my spiraling thoughts. Any further, and they’d be unbearable.

Every day, I stand on the sidewalk outside my school. Along with colleagues and student volunteers, make sure kids get safely to their cars.

Several times during the year, I almost left my phone inside the building. But then one thought would invade-what if something happens? An emergency? And quickly, I’d put my phone in my back pocket.

I’m not the only one carrying the weight of such thoughts. But we rarely talk about them. Until another tragedy occurs and we realize it could have been our school, our students, or our friends.

I see the sweet faces of the Uvalde, TX victims in photos shared by loved ones. I see the desperation in the sobs of those left to mourn and question.

My heart breaks.

But my sadness quickly turns to anger as I listen to sound bites. As I hear political figures speak of rights instead of solutions, perpetrators instead of victims.

There are solutions. And please don’t tell me there are no laws or policy changes that would affect this epidemic of gun violence in our country. There are. And they are logical. Why do we refuse to take a stand in their favor? Well, that’s a matter of the heart.

https://www.nytimes.com/


Our descendants weep
As the blood
Of the innocent
Soaks the ground
Beneath the feet
Of misplaced allegiance

Only Tears

The sky wept
Thru the night
Quieting only
For moments
At a time
To take a quick
Breath of air
That offered
No relief

No lightening
To break
The vast darkness
No thunder
To break
The veil of grief
Only the tears
Of broken hearts
Forever flowing

It must have been raining all over the world.

When?

Another
School day
Filled with
Laughter
Learning
Love
Shattered
By sounds
Gunshots
Impact
Screams
Cries for help
Violent deaths
Followed by
Silence-
Children
Teachers
Hiding, frightened
Training put
Into action
Training
That should never
Have been necessary
For actions
That should never
Have occurred

When will we decide enough is enough?
When will we choose love instead of hate?
When will we weep instead of arguing?

Mourn for
Innocent lives
Left lying
On the floor
Of the very place
They should have been safe

Today was our last day of school. Smiles, tears, good-byes. Ready for summer break. I drove home, exhausted. And then, I heard the news of another school shooting at an elementary school.

Listening to the reports was heartbreaking. And then there was a comment about training. The fact that students and teachers were hiding as they practiced. The same drills I have had to discuss or practice with students. It should not be this way. 💔

Wet With Tears

Way too young
Senseless death
Gun violence
Once again
This time
I can’t ignore
Won’t let my heart
Become numb
This time
I can see
The one left behind
Her heart
Broken into pieces
That may never
Fit back together
No matter
The time
That passes-
Right now
The grief is fresh
Eyes wet with tears
At the mention
Of her loss
Or a gentle hand
On her shoulder
Don’t hide them
Though they fall
Because of loss
They also fall
Because of love

This story is one of many. Too many. Young adults ready to take on this world, taken too soon. Though it is not my story to tell, listening touched my heart. I could not walk away without taking time to acknowledge the grief, the hurting left behind. And also the love and strength showing through the pain. 💔