The Best Teacher Ever

I struggled to find the words to express my thoughts about the most recent (why are there so many of them?) school shooting. I sat in my coffeeshop last night, NYT in hand, and pulled a few words from yesterday’s cover story until I found my voice. The resulting poem follows:

A kindergartener proclaimed
You’re the
Best teacher 
I’ve ever had

Me: (Unflattered
Unimpressed)
I’m the only teacher
You’ve ever had
So why do you think so

Her: (Enamored eyes
Head pressed into my soft belly
Without hesitation)
You protect us
You keep us safe

Armed
With a semiautomatic AR-15
A 19 year-old gunman
Expelled
Had prepared for the
Attack

Students
Huddled in horror
Training cellphones on carnage
That began with a few shots
Then continued

More
Oh my God!
More
Oh my God!

Adults
Dead
Children
Dead
Over and over

Death toll 17

The aftermath
An eerie shrine
Of floors stained with blood

Computer screens
Shattered
with bullet holes

Lives too

Noelle was in history class
The second amendment
Undaunted
Is still there
An unyielding
Eagle perched
On the teachers’ bookshelf

The shooter wore a gas mask
The President tweeted
Thoughts and prayers

Oh my God!
Oh my God!
Why the hell are THEY okay?

You never think
This is going to happen to
You
Then it does

I kept
My classroom door
Locked
Today

I’m the
Best teacher
She’s
Ever had

I don’t
Want to be
The only one

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