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Santa Clarita

“Sixteen seconds of terror; just another school shooting in America.”


the news report receives less airtime

than the duration of the shooting itself




peaceful, Sunday-morning sunrise 

filters through cracks in the blinds

of our patio window, bent fractals of light

illuminated across the terrors of this world 

I chose to bring you into, unfolding 

on the television in front of me




I sip my morning coffee; you enjoy 

breakfast from your high chair




my helpless eyes watch you closely,

wondering - if there is anything more I can do 

as a mother, other than pray your eyes 

do not close before mine




if they should, I only hope

this world can afford you

more than just sixteen seconds 

of recognition for your sacrifices

◄ Untitled (edge of sanity)

butterfly effect ►


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John Marks

Wed 20th Nov 2019 19:37

I admire this a lot Emilia. The focus pans out to school shootings and zooms back to 'you' in the high chair.You illustrate how the media works to make distant events close and so encourages a wave of paranoia to sweep into private lives. I have lost a child so I understand what you fear.

“La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu'il n'existe pas."

("The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.")”
― Charles Baudelaire

Emilia Callahan

Wed 20th Nov 2019 13:23

Thanks Tom, Don, and Vautaw. I'm glad that you all enjoyed it and that it sparked the sentiment I'm hoping to create.I think this is the hardest part about being a mother so far - watching senseless violence occur in our world, and only hoping my own child's life isn't cut short due to the same thing.

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Wed 20th Nov 2019 05:17

A poem I wish didn’t have to be written, but grateful that you have given a voice of awareness for the senseless tragedy that continues to take innocent lives. Heartbreaking. ?

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Don Matthews

Tue 19th Nov 2019 22:08

So good Emlia. About a sad topic.....

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Tue 19th Nov 2019 21:05

Excellent writing Emilia and Po makes a brilliant point too. So sad and still nothing being learned or done by those that could make a difference.

Emilia Callahan

Tue 19th Nov 2019 20:27

Thank you, Po. I appreciate your kind words. Funny enough, I did just update the poem slightly (I wasn't happy with the prior version), but that sentiment still lingers.

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