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
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.