By B. Jackson 

There was a mass shooting in Gilroy, California.
my favorite pit-stop on our drives down south
my parents would often buy a fresh bag of cherries
from a wooden fruit stand
for all of us to share
I remember squishing the cherries between my teeth
letting the red juice soak my tongue
as I kicked my bite-sized feet contentedly
in the backseat of our blue van

There was a mass shooting in Poway, California.
the town where my father walked to school
rode his skateboard
skinned his knees
the town where my grandmother raised her children
said goodbye to her husband
breathed her last breath

There was a mass shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
the town where I went to college
met the love of my life
made lifelong friends
tasted pierogis for the first time
the town where I lived
in a dusty basement apartment
a mile away from the future tragedy

I’m lucky.
random twists and turns of life
have kept me one skip away
from these tragedies

and now

I can’t help but feel

like my luck

++++++++++++is running out

About the Author

Barbara Jackson is a University of Pittsburgh alumna now living in the California Bay Area as an actor, writer, and communications manager.

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