By Sheila Squillante
—for my daughter, after Parkland
Dear teacher, my daughter is terrified
Dear locker, yellow metal, filled
Dear blood on the floor.
It’s how things are. Dear locked door
My daughter is supposed tohide inside.
Dear bullets that tore
organs. Dear dear. Dear boy holding shut
the door and the patient nurse. Dearhallway which cackles
with voices Dear common sense. Dear duck and cover. Dear run hide fight
Dear teacher, my daughter
tore through the world Dear loving.
to hide inside. Her
around the playground.
on the floor. care cackles
High ceilings take hallway
Dear god. Dear America. Dear gun. Don’t You
see me? Dear principal. Dear janitor. Dear locked door buzzer
My daughter thinks of her body as yellow metal, filled with some other child’s afternoon.
space. Dear laughter. Dear run
down the street our house waits
empty. Dear light switch.
Dear children to hide.
Dear parents like ghosts.
About the Author
Sheila Squillante is the author of the poetry collection, Beautiful Nerve (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), and three chapbooks of poetry. Recent work has appeared in places like Copper Nickel, North Dakota Quarterly, Indiana Review, Waxwing, Menacing Hedge and River Teeth. She teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Chatham University, where she edits The Fourth River, a journal of nature and place-based writing. From her dining room table, she edits the blog at Barrelhouse. Her blog is here.