For the 17


For the 17

Bustling hallways
full of learning and vigor
became nightmare landscapes
with the pull of a trigger
Unspeakable loss has changed them
not weakened or diminished
but rearranged them
they are fierce and focused
as their words are spoken
they are resolute and righteous
they are not broken.

For the 17. 
They are Unbroken
Declaring “never again” as an oath of honor
they fight with impenetrable armor,
the strength of tempered steel made stronger by fire,
emerging more powerful and soaring higher
Deathly visions haunt
when they are awake
hearts and minds were fractured but they would not break

For the 17. 
They are Unbroken
Lives once ordinary
manicured and envied
In an instant pulverized
shocked and left to bleed
Shattered in shades of crimson
grief did not take them
they were submerged in darkness
but it did not break them

For the 17. 
They are unbroken
They stand courageous
against the status quo
attacks met with open arms
some adults reaching a new low
Each pat on the head
only serves to raise them higher
vaulting above the bar
set to contain the fire
And because this culture is coarse
because this world is cruel
these victims are re-victimized
by every gun loving tool
Verbal arrows aimed in desperation
bounce off their heads held high
to rebound with amplified power
to teach them how to fly
Instead of tearing down each step
they are taking
they are not bending
they are not breaking

For the 17. 
They are unbroken 
Wielding potent powers of speech
these young people take the lead
and preach
from our stupor we are waking
they are unbowed. never breaking
this burden from us they are firmly
and with thundering clarity
fists shaking , declare “never again”
This country they are remaking
For the 17 they are unbreakable
For our future we are evermore,

Donna Ragland - Greene