I haven’t written about it yet maybe because writing was one of the things
that felt normal to me
But nothing about this feels normal
Seeing my classmates on the news
Being asked for interviews
Having celebrities tweet my town’s name
None of it feels normal
While in the closet
My body shook uncontrollably
I held the hands of my friends
And tried to hold in my tears
Because I didn’t want to think about who wouldn’t see their
loved ones these following years
My heart is racing
My insides are aching
But I am grateful that I am alive
And hungry for change
And for my school, for my community
I’m filled with so much
None of this feels normal
But with a broken heart,
I know all of this is true
And for each angel that was brutally ripped from us
Jenna Harris, a Parkland survivor, turned to poetry following her own ordeal at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. In her poem “None of this is Normal,” Harris reflects on the surreal turn her life took after the deaths of her classmates, promising them that “everything from now on is for you.”
Originally published on Youth Radio
‘Empty beds and broken hearts’
by Jett Hays – A poem for Parkland
Pencils in pouches
Students in body bags
No bells only shots ring – No practice, no dinner
Only shooters and sinners
No morning – Only mourners
Early morning prayers on a Wednesday
Bodies don’t get buried till more mourning on a Sunday
No milestones or tassel throws
Only growing roses and tombstones
Rising death tolls and bells that tell of funerals
Empty beds and broken hearts
No hearts beat – No children dance
Post mortem I love yous – I would’ve told you – if I had the chance
This is no new news – This is not the first, this is not the last
Too many children killed walking to class
American carnage consoled with carnations
coronations of leaders who think band-aids will protect schools
And heal our nation – Unless ink and compassion flows
Laws pass and guns go You will lose our vote
So Scott, Martin, Nicholas, and Alyssa, Aaron, Alaina, Meadow, and Helena, Jaime, Chris, Luke, and Cara, Joaquine, Alex, and Gina – Stay alive
17 dream in figures and a crown
14 students graduating in caps and gowns
17 sit down
17 seats fill with the future
When will it be a last breath too many?
When will the candle flames die
Cuz students don’t
When will we quit drowning in
Our own sorrow
Our own blood
And gasp for air
And pass laws
Be kind to others
And show that we care
We are almost there
For every candle every night a torch burns every day and burns bright
Allowing us to photograph the darkness
So – We can grasp the light
When the sun sets
Tunnel light into the future
And bury hate with the past
So students aren’t targets
And there’s no shooters to shoot
Dreams to nightmares
Schools to memorials
Times like these seem a long way from the American dream
We are children.
You guys are, like, the adults.
Take action, work together,
come over your politics,
and get something done.”
“Why should they listen to me?
Because I had to sit in a classroom, in the dark, next to 20 of my friends, watching us all text our parents that we loved them.
Because we didn’t know if a shooter was going to come up to our door.”
“… That’s why I’m credible.”
“We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks.
Not because we’re going to be another statistic
about mass shooting in America, but because…
we are going to be the last mass shooting.”
“Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS.” – Emma Gonzalez
“This isn’t something that you let go of a month later, this is something that we will persist with. This is going to be an issue probably for the rest of my lifetime unless we do something about it,” Brighton senior Jonathan Vaysman
Step forward into the future. Support each other.
Make peace. Practice nonviolence.
Resist the forces of war.
Reconcile with our enemies. Come what may.
We have met a Rebel God.
Begin the revolution within us.
Hearts burn with the fire of Hope.
Summon us to carry on an Errand of Nonviolence.