In the fifties, in first grade,
I learned that crouching under my desk
would protect me from the blast
of an atomic bomb,
dropped on the playground.
In the sixties, in seventh grade,
I learned that when a knife is pulled
anywhere near me to run
and not look back.
But I never saw a gun.
Today, in twelfth grade,
my niece has learned the protocol
for when the shooter enters,
texting her parents every five minutes
so they know she is still alive.
She wears a bullet-blocking backpack
her mother ordered on the internet
pricier than the bullet-resistant model.
It won't protect her from an assault rifle,
but every little bit helps.
Ed Gold is originally from Baltimore, got an M.A. from the writing seminars at Hopkins, taught poetry at U of Md for years, and is now down in Charleston, SC, writing happily and madly. He has one chapbook, Owl, and about 80 poems published in TheNewVerse.News, Kakalak, Ekphrastic Review, Window Cat Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Cyclamens and Swords, and elsewhere. Active in the Poetry Society of South Carolina, he runs the Skylark Contest for high-school poets and co-chairs its two-week poetry series at the Dock Street Theater for Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston.