Friday, October 2, 2015

Before We Knew the Shooter's Name--poem v1.0

Hi Everyone-

This is a first draft, so forgive the lack of lustre. It felt necessary to respond today and polish later.

Before we knew the shooter’s name
            by Maren Bradley Anderson

October 1, 2015, 3:00 PM

It’s already started:
            who was the shooter?
            what did he want?
            why was he so angry?

No questions about those whose lives he shattered.
who were they?
            what did they want?
            are they angry?

Is it too terrifying to think of the victims?
            sitting anonymous in class
half listening to the lecture
            or teaching, trying to reach those students who stare out the window

whose car had a flat yesterday—not today
who was late, but made it in time
whose dad was so proud she was going to college
whose motives were to get through today
            so they could get through tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow?

Whose dog will be lonely tonight?

People so like those I see every day
            I saw yesterday in class
            working in the library
            buying textbooks
standing in line at the coffee shop
            giving me excuses why they            
                 didn’t do the reading
or teaching, like me, for the love of the light lit in a few dim eyes

I hope to learn the victim’s names,
            but I won’t be given the chance.

I hope never to learn the shooter’s name
            but I won’t be able to avoid it.

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