17 Hannah Pandya


At 17 years old,

We danced the night away to an electronic beat surrounded
By a swirl of adolescent bodies,

Spun on our heels, floated away on a melody.

Teenage bodies move like the wind, soar higher than the clouds,
And have so far to fall.

When he came for 17 of their bodies,

Emptied his magazine into their swirling vortex,
I imagine I heard them fall like the branches of an aged

Maple deep in the forest, felt their ancient stone

Crumble: they’ve been here before,
We have been here before, our bodies loose currency

Jingling in pockets of those who should protect us, bleached bone

Trading cards scattered across legislative floors;
Maybe I’m tired of writing about this perverse dance,

Tired of treading on this floor, taking care not to soak

My shoes in their blood, collecting their scattered teeth, a roadmap
To nowhere. Right now we are going nowhere,

And the road to hell is not paved with good intentions

But with the bones of twenty children who died within pastel
Walls clinging to construction paper and Magic markers.

I don’t know what words I can use

When “babies” and ”bullets” threaded together
Didn’t move you.

By Hannah Pandya


Hannah Pandya is a senior at Saint Johnsbury Academy, in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont. She has been writing poetry since the 8th grade and taking photographs since her junior year. She finds that the written word and photography are the best way she can express herself. and her complex emotions She also dabbles in writing prose, plays and nonfiction pieces. In addition to writing and photography, she spends her time in her school theatre program, petting her cat, baking cookies and traveling to as many corners of the world as she can. She plans to get her degree in English and photography, specializing in creative writing, and move on to obtain a master’s in photojournalism.

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