Most days, I do not understand this world, or the people in it. How we have all becoming so seemingly apathetic & hateful toward each other – I will never understand.
There was another school shooting today in Connecticut – this one took place in an elementary school, no less. The death count is high, and the facts are still coming in; I’ve been listening to live news stream reports while working and cannot believe it. To a degree. It’s a shame how common place school shootings, and mass killing sprees in general have become in America.
When the Columbine School shooting happened, I was in eighth grade. I remember the day distinctly as I’ve always seemed to be deeply affected by these sort of sad occurrences- how long ago that feels like it was now.
At the time, I was so upset by it that I wrote a poem which I titled “Elusive Surrender.” It ended up being the first poem or writing of any kind I had done which I later read aloud publicly in front of a crowd, at the age of fourteen.
I’m sad to say that most of the points I made in that poem, written almost thirteen years ago now, are more relevant today than ever.
Running, screaming, the shots began
the guns abiding their terrifying game plan
Hurting people and hurting themselves
the outcasts, the misfits, they rebel
Dashing through the harsh hallways
lessons taught to remember always,
They aimed and shot, and shot some more
armed in the trench coats that they wore
Laughing, calling, the murder of avenge,
their hate erupting in the form of revenge
They were only the shadows of pretenders
Hidden in the sobs of elusive surrenders
Students praying- for mercy they cry-
shot in the head in the blink of an eye,
Wishing they’d seen the lines never read,
wishing they’d heard words never said
Oh, no, if only the killers could see –
they found innocence & they stole the key
The pain, the emotion, the desperate need
the whispering prayers as they would bleed
They whimpered, they plead with their tears,
their hopes echoing, their souls disappeared
Still the gunmen spared no mercy for their foes
and death found the victims, fighting to impose
And now all that’s left are some lonely flowers
Frostbitten roses, soft petals that scour,
as a silent reminder of what happened that day
But their color too will soon fade away,
just as the dreams of fifteen kids Tuesday morn,
because every rose will have it’s thorns
And now we can blame, and now we can say,
“It’s him, it’s her,” but it won’t go away
We could have avoided all of the hurt
if people had looked and made an alert
If anyone would have said, “I count too”
Maybe then we won’t force on deja vu
and then death won’t sound like an old cliche
Goodnight, angels, you have found your way.
by Jessica J. Johnston, 1999