By Manoela Torres

Editor’s Note: 

“School Shooting” dives into gun violence and may be sensitive for some readers. According to Everytown Research, there were at least 130 incidents of gun violence on school grounds in 2019. In 2020, 66 incidents of gun violence has been reported. 

You are lucky if you come out alive
If you are, somehow, able to play dead
Through the shots
And shivers

You are lucky if you are in a safe space
If you can hide under a table
Or creep inside a bookshelf

The bullets slip from the gun
And you don’t know who’s life they’ll take
It could be you
Or your best friend
Or the nice guy who lent you a pencil during math once

You are lucky if you get to text your mom
To say goodbye; to pretend you will be fine
You are lucky if you don’t make a sound
You are lucky if you leave with just a wound

The auditorium’s lights are dimmed, students are sitting underneath the chairs
Notebooks aren’t covered in ink; just blood
Teenagers’ bodies rule the hallway; lying, dead, on the floor

You are lucky if you can forget
The taste of panic, the face of despair
You are lucky
You are lucky

Nobody should be “lucky” like you.

About the writer:

Manoela Torres is a Brazilian writer majoring in Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing and minoring in Art history at Barnard College. She has already worked as a translator for renowned Nobel-award nominee author Carlos Near as well as a blog and article writer for Alouet Consulting and Theideamixradio. Manoela posts her writing on her Instagram profile @thestreetpoetess and on her website and is currently working on her first poetry book, “The Moon And her Letters” with Brazilian artist Zamba.

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