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Friday, May 27, 2022


by Jen Schneider

Gun-control advocates hold a vigil outside of the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

again / tiny souls in rubble
and rubber soles
and rainbow-hued cotton
laces. elastic tips tucked
and tied. two-loops.
classroom pride. hide
under desks, behind doors,
on carpet-covered floors.
time once a concept
to be taught, not measured.
again / time knocks
on the doors of a nation
of shame and guns
with no roses
and loopholes
on parades / again
            with no brakes
mindless modeling
of putty and clay
must stop / now
so tiny souls
in rubber soles
            may learn, laugh, live
again / to teach and tell time,
sculpt and script
            a future of roses
                        with no guns  /  what if

Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, writes, and works in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania. Recent works include A Collection of RecollectionsInvisible InkOn Habits & Habitats, and Blindfolds, Bruises, and Breakups.