“I Love You”


17 dead.

Alyssa, Aaron, Alania, and Alex,

Went to school on Wednesday and didn’t come home.

Were they rushing out the door to get to class on time,

Oblivious that they would soon be rushing out the door

Running for their lives?

Did Peter’s mom have to go into work early?

Did she have time to say I love you dearly?

I hope she told him the night before.

What if Carmen’s dad spilled his coffee on his shirt?

When he got that call from the school,

Your bad day just got worse.


14 of February.


In first grade we would put lollipops in brown paper bags,

Signed with a heart and our names

Oblivious that in ten years your name would be signed on a grave.

In fifth grade, handwritten cards are given to girls on the playground

Oblivious to the fact that in five years you would be hearing the sound

Of gunfire in the hallways.

In high school, you wear red,

So you don’t have to scrub out the bloodstains from your classmates.




AR-15: I can purchase one right now if I want.

The rifle used in five out of six of the deadliest shootings in the past six years.

We should hold bottles up to parents eyes to capture their tears

For when we have the next drought

That might help at least one national crisis.

Please stop focusing on your political bias and recognize

That the next time your daughter goes to school

That’ll be the last time you see her beautiful eyes.


18 years old.


That’s how old I am.

And that’s how old Meadow Pollack was. Is? Was?

I hope she doesn’t have to watch her family mourn from above.       

I hope her family only remembers her love

And her “smile like sunshine”,

Not the mascara stained cheeks on her corpse.


3 weeks


It has been 3 weeks since the shooting, and the fear hasn’t left us.

The fear across the country, the world

Millions of men, women, and children living in fear

Fear of the inevitable coming sooner than it should,

Lives taken, by the slight of hand of a teenage boy.


Hundreds of signs


“Guns don’t die, children do”

Do we love our children as much as our weapons?

“No more silence, end gun violence.”

Do we want to keep paying for others sins?

“Trained to be a teacher, not a sharp shooter”

Do we want to fight fire with fire?

Or what about, “Why should I be worried that this is the last time I say “I love you” to my dad?”

Because that’s what our classmate

At Indian Springs

said today.

When I was five, I never thought I’d be scared to say “I love you.”


- Joey Cleverdon ‘18 and Ada Cohen ‘18