I don’t want to talk about Uvalde. I don’t want to talk about the thwarted Patriot Front riot. There are half-written, angry-sad posts talking about Uvalde in my drafts. And none of them will see the light of day. Because it’s no my tragedy to talk about. It’s not my story to share.
It’s difficult to talk about it without bringing up what I was doing that day. And how the news gnawed at the back of my head.
Instead, I leave you with Andrea Gibson’s poem, “Orlando.”
It’s become part of Americana, school shootings. They also seem ubiquitous, every day occurrences that become a punchline during the pandemic age. How many times see that last year? That old Tiktok of “Say what you will about Trump, but school shootings have gone down this year.”
On the morning of April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho committed one of the deadliest mass shootings in the country’s history at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. By the end of it, Cho killed thirty-two students and injured 16 others. He would take his own life.
In his poem, Jared Singer writes about one of the Virginia Tech victims. A friend named Henh Lee. For the sixteenth poem – on the fourteenth anniversary of the shooting – I have chosen Jared Singer’s poem, “April 16, 2007.”