This author was a jr. in Columbine High School & was in the choir room when those shootings began. She wrote this poem after the tragedy ta help her deal w/the pain & grief.
11:21 A.M.
I lie on my bed
Fear stains my memories as I reflect
on a placid morning in Littleton.
A usual day in choir
We prepare for concerts,
blithely indulging in normal routine.

A sudden blast startles us.
A chemistry explosion?
Deafening eruptions penetrate "Ave Maria."
Sinuous voices now punctuated by gunshots,
the demonic splintering the angelic.

The choir hushes
to the rhythm of pounding hearts.
Students scream though halls
as terror burns itself on innocent faces.

Tick, Tick, Tick - 11:21 -
lives are forever changed.
The sound of bombs ignite horror through our veins
and snend chills
that pinch the skin like needles.

Some run.
Some stand paralyzed in shock,
numbness engulfing all other emotions.
Billows of powder now blanket the hall,
creating ghostly images.
I look though the delicate webs of cotton
and see the fruits of hatred.
Bullets shatter glass
and invade bodies,
as malice sears the souls of the perpetrators.

A student prays;
another hides in stunned confusion;
a teacher bleeds.

Like children
we are helpless,
longing to be in mama's arms .

Two faces
are plastered against the window.
The horror in their eyes strips away
my consciousness.
My first instinct is to run;
I duck as bullets spray the halls.

Our school is now the grounds of warfare -
moral fighting
in a field of bombs and bullets.
Weapons that have fallen into the wrong hands
have only one purpose and they
are kissing us and all I hear is gunfire.
Crackling, Crackling,
Humming, bursting, screaming, ringing, what now,
Too much
Too soon
Too young
So scared
Help us.

I struggle to escape but am slowed
as if trudging though water.
Through the front doors I see milky clouds
that absorb the sun;
I see the golden light and sunburned pavement.
I cannot get there fast enough.

I am almost to the door.
A bullet ricochets off the pane.
The glass swirls like a droplet on water,
creating rings that shiver and spread,
shattering as I dash though the door -
All is silent.
I have escaped hell.

There is a dark room
where ten broken bodies lie,
and where others play dead.
In the darkness of the libary,
angels embrace the lifeless,
and their wings flicker light
against the wall of helpless shadows.
God now wraps His arms
around the school
and gathers the souls of the lost,
makes strong the souls of the weak,
cries for the violence on Earth.

Time picks up and I am vulnerable, insecure.
A dog's bark screams like bulelts.
Who to trust?
Our haven is destoyed,
and we are scattered.

I sit immobilized,
while anxiety and guilt wrap themselves around me
and consume me.
Are there answers in silence...?
Because I am asking you and you don't answer...

Or maybe the silence is just you listening.

- Joanna Gates