Everything Happens for a Reason

A festive morning, days before summer.
A young man from a troubled
Home, bullied for a speech impediment;
With weapons of warfare and a tactical vest;
Seeking fame and the affections of a
Young woman from a distant country,

Enters a place for children, by a door that failed
To lock; paces like a tiger from room to room, shooting
Teachers and killing kids to the accompaniment
Of a playlist from his favorite streaming service.
Crouching down, he whispers to a boy,
“It’s time to die.”

Other children make frantic
Calls, imploring the police to save
Them from the roaming killer,
But who, instead, chose to handcuff,
Taser and pepper-spray
Parents for doing what they dared not.

Violence made sanitary with
pictures of their former, smiling selves
and accounts of “wounds” Instead of the reality:
Crosscut waves of trauma; gaping, grievous injuries
And organs cast about; blood gathering
In pools and splattered on walls.

Nineteen dead all told now. Tiny coffins
Adorned with cartoon dinosaurs and symbols
Of superheroes; children made consumers even in death,
All bearing witness to the falsity of that old lie:
Everything happens for a reason.

Used by permission of the author.

Christopher Lion

Christopher Lion is founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheQuiver.org. Previously he was a Managing Director at The Mather Group and Chief ...more