Together we will grieve the loved ones we’ve lost to the school shooters dressed in weird clothes.
Together we will mock the frail boy who walks with a limp and stutters.
Together we will huddle in fear in the dark utility closet as the shooter guns down our fellow classmates in the hallway.
Together we will pay our annual NRA dues.
Together we will place flowers and toys in the parking lots of schools, theaters and nightclubs.
Together we will prevent gun control legislation from coming to the House floor.
Together we will shun and mock the boy loner who wears weird clothes.
Together we will pray for the survivors of gun violence in schools.
Together we will mock the student activists fighting for their lives.
Together we will play violent video games.
Together we parents will ignore our children’s signs of violence, sadness and loneliness.
Together we will rally around masculinity and have contempt for sissy boys.
Together we will march across America against gun violence.
Together we will stand for American values of family, peace and happiness for all.
Together we will sign petitions to end gun violence against children.
Together we will use the Internet to circumvent gun control laws.
Together we will fear returning to school.
Together we will forget until the next school shooting.
Connie Woodring is a 73-year-old retired psychotherapist/educator/social activist who is getting back her true love of writing after 45 years in her real job. She has a B.A.in English from Penn State University, getting great marks from John Barth and Paul West. She has a MSS from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. She has written two books she is trying to get published: a novel entitled Visiting Hours, and a non-fiction book entitled What Power? Which People? Reflections on Power Abuse and Empowerment. She has had seven poems published: Curiosity, was published in ARIEL CHART MAGAZINE; On the Death of My Parents, was published in DIME SHOW REVIEW and was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize; The Glass Jar and Inquisition Blues were published in MOOKYCHICK MAGAZINE; Mama Old Mama Lady was published in E&GJ PRESS; Do Not Talk About This and Toy Soldiers/Serial Killer Query were published in CHERRY HOUSE PRESS. An article on domestic violence, which is an excerpt from her yet-to-be-published book, What Power? Which People? Reflections on Power Abuse and Empowerment, was published in SCARLET LEAF REVIEW.
–Art by Chelsea Sturgill