A dividing line is crossed again

children scream as the monster once a child
attacks the town telephone poles twisted
crosses warped metal fences clipped
rounds of rapid-fire along salted roads
fields & inside the mortar & brick
that sheltered us for years kept our families
at our backs on our tongues stuck
to each other like honey-glue

release & reload victims are locked
under gunmetal sky inside classrooms
under desks a lone hydrant opens
but no water comes out no help
only blood & more blood holes
in bodies & hoodies a pair of Converse sneakers
inscribed with a black star hair
bone pencil cases lined paper
that goes on forever

About the Poem

This poem was written in response to the massacre of 21 innocent children and teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas by an 18-year-old with an AR-15-style rifle.

About the Author

Susan Michele Coronel lives in New York City, where she owns and directs a childcare center. She is a former fourth-grade teacher. Her poems have appeared in publications including Spillway 29, TAB Journal, The Inflectionist Review, Gyroscope Review, Prometheus Dreaming, Redivider, and One Art. In 2021 one of her poems was runner-up for the Beacon Street Poetry Prize, and another was a finalist in the Millennium Writing Awards. In the same year, she received a Pushcart nomination and was longlisted for the Sappho Prize.

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