Tim Sackton CC
When The News Reads, “School Shooting In Michigan”
I scramble for the link so the town is named.
I didn’t call my sister today
because I knew she would be teaching,
and when the final bell rang,
collecting her children from another school.
At some point,
a message floating with no response.
The time it takes from link click
to page load is enough time to count every fucking star in the galaxy.
And when I read Oxford
I selfishly exhale
because my family is safe
while three prepare for a funeral.
The dead include a 14-year-old,
the same age as my oldest niece,
the one I didn’t even get to hug the last time I was in the state because she was sick
and I could not afford transmission.
Some of the students post videos on Tik-Tok
of the shooter trying to enter the classroom.
The video keeps rolling and catches
the small squeaks of stifled shrieks
as bodies pour like water out of the window
running across the graveyard of snow
to the open door
where someone greets,
“You’re safe now,
Lynne Schmidt (she/they) is the queer grandchild of a Holocaust survivor, and a mental health professional with a focus in trauma and healing. They are the winner of the 2021 The Poetry Question Chapbook Contest, 2020 New Women's Voices Contest, a 2020 Pushcart nominee, and an eleven time Best of the Net nominee. Lynne is the author of the chapbooks, SexyTime (The Poetry Question, 2022) Dead Dog Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2021), Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press, 2019) which was listed as one of the 100 Best Breakup Books of All Time by Book Authority. In 2012 they started the project, AbortionChat, which aims to lessen the stigma around abortion. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her pack of dogs and one cat to humans.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.