Lockdown Ready By Hazel Kight Witham

Lockdown Ready

Remember that day
they armed you with plastic bucket

that served as both carrier for
duct tape, plastic gloves, trash bag

and possible latrine
should lockdown outlast bladder or bowel

Remember the cardboard screen,
big as classroom door times three

they gave you to build bathroom privacy
into open classroom floorplan?

Remember when you realized
these flimsy offerings
these futile gestures

what guns
could do to a school, all schools?

How you watched
as instead of passage of laws

students became suspects,
became threat,

and though most of the shooters
were white,

the targets of ensuing
suspicion were black and brown

how the broken bureaucrats

through plastic buckets, plastic gloves
plastic bags, cardboard screens

to make us feel something
more like safe, prepared, ready

but fail
every time

By Hazel Kight Witham

A poem from Disarm: A Themed issue Responding to Mass Shootings in America


Hazel Kight Witham is a writer, teacher, activist, and artist whose work can be found in Bellevue Literary Review, Rising Phoenix Review, Angels Flight, Zoetic Press’s NonBinary Review, Lunch Ticket and Lady/Liberty/Lit. As a proud public school teacher, she loves listening to young people and challenging them to think more critically and creatively about their place in the world they wish to live in.

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