As we bike to school this morning,
passing the park,
the sun rising,
the morning light shining
off of pastel clouds,
my eight year old asks
to look at the faces
of the men posted
on the public restroom.
I say, let’s don’t because, they are monsters.
Pedophiles to be exact but I don’t repeat that.
She asks, why don’t you want to look at them.
Is it because they look like monsters too.
I say, no it’s because they look no different,
anyone could be on that wall.
Their faces aren’t any different at all
She says, no problem, I understand.
This is the new world, she lives in,
I only guide her through it.
Rounding the corner,
We stop at each intersection.
I act like a crossing guard.
Cars speed on their way to work and
kids will get hurt, one day.
We’ve had plenty of near misses.
One foot closer and we’d all be gone,
hit by a dumb driver looking at his smart phone.
When we arrive,
I walk them all the way to class.
Many children bike by themselves,
experts now recommend for kids
to never bike alone
because we will never know
the day one of the men on the park’s poster
will decide to stop a child
and change a families world, forever.
I volunteer at school some days.
After the Sandy Hook shooting teachers
lock their doors but there are no guards.
I asked the principal why there is no budget.
Because a half cent sells tax was not passed.
When sitting in class, I think about
how I could defend this class from a shooter.
How I could herd the kids into a defensible corner.
How I could attack the shooter from an angle
on entry after hearing, shots fired.
I think, how I wish I could sit in both my girls
classes all day, each day to protect them.
How I’d like one day to home school them.
How much the world has changed since I was a kid.
I wonder how many of my girl’s
classmates have access to guns.
Will there be a day here when things go astray.
More shots fired as my kids try to learn.
What more can I do to protect them,
from a world that grows perverts and murderers
like a cancer.
As they eat sugar all day to spur the tumor’s growth.
We are not ready to legislate any gun control.
We are not ready to take our kids away from screens.
As they play shooting games, murdering and bullying vivid pixels,
where blood and violence seeps into everything,
seeding the next generation of psychotic, killing dreams,
to build into their imaginary worlds
that have become much too real.