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When you hear a BOOM! or a BANG!
I wish you could run in excitement
for fireworks.
I wish you don’t need to panic–
Were those gunshots?

When you wonder, what makes
fireworks so colorful
I wish you know it’s the minerals:
Copper for blue
Barium for green
& Sodium for yellow.
I wish you don’t need to shudder–
Blood is red!

When you ponder, where minerals
came from
I wish you find out they are released
when stars from millions of light years away
die and reborn into supernovas. And rejoice
that you are all stardust, you are all fireworks.
I wish you don’t need to worry–
Will I die if shooters come to my school?

Dear children, tonight
I wish I could collect
& mix all the gunpowder,
blasting them into


About the Poem

This poem was written on the 10th anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting to raise awareness to end gun violence.

About the Author

Jiang Pu is a published author, editor, and translator of many textbooks, children’s literature and literature books. She is an Innovative Education leader and the founder of NextGen Education. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from Michigan State University and M.A. in English literature from Nanjing University. Her recent poems were published in Caesura and Planet Poetry 28. She is a beekeeper and a nature advocate, and currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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