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by Leah Laiben

crumpled paper
on the floor
projectiles launched in second period
crumpled bodies
on the floor
projectiles launched during third

like the ones in his duffel
still carrying the stench of
sweaty gym socks and body spray
like the ones left unread in waiting rooms
where families huddle
whose lives have been too soon snuffed

teachers take bullets
after attendance
parents bury children
in commencement dresses
graduation speeches are eulogies
delivered as survivors return to halls drenched in
invisible blood

what we’ve got here is failure to communicate
unsolved equations
history lessons unlearned
what’s the chemical reaction when blood and tears mix

over my cold dead body— no
this is over
their cold dead bodies
once breathless over boys and basketball
now breathless bloodless on
slabs in morgues
in unforgiving earth
urns of ashes
hoping this time we'll learn


Posted on 03/04/2018
Copyright © 2021 Leah Laiben

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 03/04/18 at 07:15 PM

Powerful well worded reflection of our times.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 03/10/18 at 02:50 PM

Tragedy has come a long way from the days of the Greeks or you could say it has not varied or budged an inch, given it is always and mercilessly the innocent who suffer consequences put into play by the so called powers or powerlessness that he. You have penned and expressed it well.

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