It is one year since the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Highschool in South Florida. While we wish it could have been the last, already, there have been others.
The students, the citizens, of March for our Lives have been criticized for eclipsing the names of the people who died, but, as David Hogg said, while he understands that, they are working to make sure there comes a time when there are no more people who die this way, so their deaths will not have been for nothing. They are working tirelessly to make sure sure this becomes a reality.
In the meantime, so many. So many I can’t recall them all. Columbine was not the first. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Marjory Stoneman Douglas. And the next one.
The names of the dead were hushed at Kings Buffet.
From the single TV,
High in the corner
Above the frozen soft-serve machine,
The steam table full of sesame chicken,
Broccoli and tofu,
On the screen
A man in a suit behind
A lectern answers questions
He will read the names of the dead.
Above the clinking plates he
Solemnly, slowly reads through
The taps of forks
The first name
Slips his lips
And, then, the music swells
From harp, guquin, violin and flute
But it was just that someone
Turned up the volume
From the wall-speakers above the salad bar
So the names continue to drop
To the sound of Mandarin and music
So the names continue to fall
To the sound of the ice and soda machine
And I can not hear them,
Didn’t know them,
Will not even know their names.
There seems little to do.
Eat my fish and think,
How I am, here, now.
In the last classroom
Twenty-one students were saved by their professor
Who used his body to bar the door
Before the shooter shot him through.
A holocaust survivor,
He had died before and for less.
It is good to know why you lived.