Seventeen Vacant Desks

Daddy, don’t be mad,

I can’t make it to football practice today,

I’m under my desk, hiding,

I’m staying quiet and trying to pray.


Brad’s lying a few feet away,

I can’t tell what’s wrong,

There’s so much blood on his face,

I’m scared but I’m being strong.


Miss Tracy is trying to call 911

She’s whispering into the phone

“What’s your emergency?” They ask…

“Help!!…… Alone…”


Sally’s shivering with fear,

Someone’s cell phone just rang

Oh no! He’s coming towards us,

I’m scared, I LOVE YOU… BANG!


Someone’s switched off the lights,

This blackness feels too cold

There’s fire in my belly,

The walls are starting to fold.


I hear screaming, I smell smoke,

Another bang… too faraway,

And then quiet, all too quiet,

And blurry… Can’t stay awake….


What is this place, so clean and white,

Oh… Brad’s okay and Sally too

I guess I’ll be at practice afterall,

But… where are mom and you?


Wait, why are you crying?

Hey, I’m here… I’m alright…

You… you can’t see me,

I… I’m not there… I lost the fight.


Mommy, I need a last hug,

But they won’t let you even touch me.

I’m going into the ground now,

Under the snow, beneath a tree.


Tell Miss Tracy I will miss her,

She cries every night, you know!

For Brad, and me, and Sally,

She thinks she was too slow.


Tell her she did her best,

Guns kill… People die…

We are now 17 vacant desks,

Ask the president, “Why?”

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