The First Child Martyr at Illinois Elementary

by Liz Rosenberg

Children are so very graceful none
were killed
at Illinois Elementary
when that poor bedeviled woman
emptied her gun on the square-dance floor
-except one boy who stumbled
pushing his friend from the line of fire.
His body should not have been
in that place at that time.
He could not have been more
than eight or nine,
so what did he think about his life to
be so willing to desert it, leaping away
as if to climb ropes in the gym?
He was only a child, falling
like a player on the hardwood floor.
And what on earth did he know

that now we will never know?

Last updated March 04, 2023