For Xavier Javier Lopez. For Uziyah Garcia. For Nevaeh Bravo. For Amerie Jo Garza. For Maite Yuleana Rodriguez. For Makenna Lee Elrod. For Eliana “Ellie” Garcia. For Tess Marie Mata. For Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez. For Rojelio Torres. For Alithia Ramirez. For Jayce Carmelo Luevanos. For Jailah Nicole Silguero. For Maranda Mathis. For Eliahana “Elijah” Cruz Torres. For Jose Flores Jr. For Alexandria “Lexi” Rubio. For Jacklyn Jaylen Cazares. For Layla Salazar. For Eva Mireles. For Irma Garcia. For their families and friends. For everyone who has lost a loved one to violence. These words are not enough.

When I was 10, I
saw a Pokemon card for the first time.
When I was 10, Ocarina of Time
was still pretty new, and I know
I played it a lot.
When I was 10, I conspired with my brothers
to lump all our money together
after a family trip to Chili’s
so we could afford Banjo-Kazooie.
When I was 10, I wrote
a poem about an owl, a tiny thing,
because my teacher thought I’d enjoy writing.
She was right about the art, though I
was too shy to enter the student writing workshop,
so I sat alone at a table outside
and read a Redwall book instead.
When I was 10, I imagined
a dozen different worlds,
filled with animals and people and
animal people
and fantasy beings I hadn’t read about yet.

I could not have imagined a world
where nineteen children
were cut down by torrents of gunfire.
Where two teachers threw themselves
where the cops did not dare to go.
Yet this is our world.
It doesn’t have to be.
We should only be allowed to build things
a 10-year-old can imagine.
Peaceful. Loving. Laugh-filled.


2 thoughts on “When

  1. Literally just found out via the Steve Kerr press conference (I’m in Australia.)
    Pain comes through your words palpable and gutwrenching. I really wish change for you guys. If only the minimal as a step. Background checks when 90% of you want them.

    Never get numb mate. Keep the water boiling and for poems like this, get them out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your understanding and your support; I tell myself not to get numb and some days it’s scary how easy it is to ignore violence. So I’ll hold fast to your advice: I won’t get numb, and I’ll feel everything, so I can work for a better future.

      Liked by 1 person

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