On the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting By Melanie Corning

On the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting

They would have been in the sixth grade,
bundles of nerves and knowing,
sagacious sass.
Eleven-going-on-twenty-five.
Double digit tweens.

They could have read
chapter books, learned
state capitals and long division,
won spelling bees.

They could have argued
with their parents about chores
and allowance, wished
and waited for their first
cell phones, first dances,
first crushes, first loves.

They could have gathered
in basements at sleepovers,
unfurling new wisdom
in excited whispers.
They could have written
it all down in a diary locked
with a tiny key, labelled
PRIVET KEEP OUT!!!!!

They could have been giggly
and hard to focus after lunch,
distracted by rumors of snowfall,
running to the window
at the first sign of flakes,
eyes heavenward, mouths agape.

They could have rushed outside,
halfway into snow pants,
and thrown themselves gleefully
into mounds of white powder.

They could’ve made angels,
arms as wide as the sky.

By Melanie Corning

Biography:

Melanie Corning is a writer and teacher in Boston. Her work has previously appeared here at Rising Phoenix Review, as well as The Bread Loaf Journal and a google drive folder called “drafts.”

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