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For The Children
by Cindy M. Hutchings

10 days to go 'til Santa, children are delighting
hoping for snow by Christmas, wondering around
christmas tree, skipping on their way to school

arrive in their classroom, settle in for lessons
reading, writing, playing a game

then pop, pop, pop…
screams over school intercom

not a game
not a drill

run for cover, wait for rescue

Survivors led out of class, hand
on shoulder in front, eyes closed
past their fallen schoolmates

Their schoolmates, bright-eyed children
later that night run back and forth
to each side of their parents’ bed

Momma I’m here
Daddy I’m here

unable to understand why
their parents don’t know
they’re home from school.


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