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Oregon, Columbine, October, November, December—

 

I think of you, fellow teacher, and I fear what lies

on the other side

of the door, the window, the rain. What power

lies in waiting, what anger,

what brown paper bag

concealing fire. I lean back

in my desk chair and make myself

a little smaller, blend

into the fibers. We are all made of the same

blood and bone, and from that pile

of particles, we share a silent

understanding: history repeats itself in the face

of gun powder. Whenever I hear of another

school, another tower, another town, I never want

to check the names, but I still do.

In case it is you. In case

it is me, and somehow, what’s left has not

woken up to the daze. Like glass,

I look at the series of names, praying for each one

like a chant, praying for their home towns—Roseburg,

Sutherlin, Myrtle Creek, Myrtle Creek, Roseberg,

Roseberg, Roseberg, Winston, and Glide—

and the craters settled there, where the world holds

its breath.

 

 

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