the children are the future but they cannot see their own.

a prose piece written by me for the students of today’s world.

April 17th, 2019

“DENVER — The 20th anniversary of the attack at Columbine High School was supposed to be marked with prayers and memorials.

Instead, millions of parents, students and educators across Colorado awoke on Wednesday to news that an armed 18-year-old woman with an infatuation with the massacre had flown across the country to Colorado and that hundreds of schools had closed as a precaution as the authorities frantically searched for her.” -The New York Times

my sister is only fifteen years old and sometimes when she packs her lunch she wonders if it will be the last. she does not lose sleep over the presentation she has to give in second period the next day. our children are going mad. lipgloss bags filled with prescriptions. anxiety has become the shared connection between freshmen at new big schools. “i’ve been on antidepressants since the 7th grade after my best friend committed suicide! i get anxious in big crowds because they are the new strangers!” fear in oneself is replaced with fear of others. my sister has only had two full weeks of school this semester. it is april. she wakes up to a text from her friend in florida, saying someone shot themselves in the school auditorium. she is greeted by death each morning, and follows it with cereal. can’t learn on an empty stomach. can’t learn in a lockdown. my sisters friends attend the school dance and they don’t fear that the punch is filled with booze. they don’t fear the chaperones telling them their dress is too revealing. don’t play the music too loud. a beat could easily be mistaken for a gunshot. dance like someone is watching, the school gym is a target. my sister doesn’t fake sick from school. she tells my parents there is a rapist on the loose and they tuck her back into her bed. a graduation cap is starting to feel more like a war ribbon. my sister has not made it out yet and i worry about her like she is on the front lines. the children are the future but what will our future look like if there are no more children left? my sister is getting robbed of her education and it is both the one behind the mask and the gun itself. can’t learn in fight or flight. can’t consume. can’t absorb. the children are the future but they cannot see their own.

the children are the future but they cannot see their own.