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To America

It’s real.

the gun

the blood

the glass

the table

She’s approaching him

thinking he’s who you meant

when you couldn’t say,

the boy with the bloody face,

he has a gun.

You scream her name because

if she gets hurt then

you’ll never forgive yourself

even though it’s

not your fault

you couldn’t say

he has a gun

You don’t scream to her

he has a gun

because he could use it

to silence me,

then her.

And what if you’re wrong

and it wasn’t real

the gun, glass, blood, table.

Left foot crackles in 

the glass

Right foot lands on

the table

walk with purpose to the corner of

the hall.

You can see her

Through two windows, the way the hall turns twice

a safe distance because

she’s next to him 

talking and then running.

he has a gun

and we’re sprinting.

Right foot in

the glass

Left foot through

the blood.

Open the door, you were

here minutes ago to ask

the boy on the floor, did

he come through

Where Did He Go


Turn Off The Music

calm voice

Sit Down

they know already

how to do this

He Has a Gun

lock the doors

close the blinds

It was packed in here only minutes ago

and now they are as small as 

they can muster

sisters holding each other

where is my sister

lights are out

do you need water

sitting in tomorrow’s mess trying

not to think how long

you may have to sit

here, and what you might find

on the other side of that door.

Mom, I am safe

Mollie is safe

Hannah is safe

Hig is safe

my friends are safe

my team is safe

I saw him Mama

he has a gun.

One minute on the phone.

It all happened in

one minute, the boy with the bloody face,


& walking home,

the sun is peeking out

glowing softly and 

by the time you’ve

washed your face

brushed your teeth

changed out of your clothes

the sun is up

painting the sky




Sleep now

wake up only a couple hours later

and remember

It’s real

the table

the glass

the blood

the gun


to the rest of your life

to America.

~Maddy Perfetti `23

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