Business first, then a poem.
Second, I am heading to the ILA conference this weekend. Look for a post later this afternoon with details about my panel session with MG authors Tricia Springstubb, Karina Yan Glaser, Janet Sumner Johnson, and Ruth Freeman. I’ll also be signing copies of my new middle grade novel, TAKEDOWN.
Now, a poem.
It comes with a trigger warning.
My friend, the poet Tim Singleton, wrote this piece on February 15, 2018, in response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
“Adjusted Curriculum” was recently published in Dragonfly Arts Magazine. This is a literary journal put out by HopeWorks, our local rape crisis and domestic violence center. After the poem, you will find more information about HopeWorks.
Adjusted Curriculum, 15 February 2018
by Tim Singleton
Math Class: today we learn to count… bodies.
In Physics, we’ll discuss if heated metal sings
as it tears through air, or is the first sound it makes
that scream into flesh, the blood sizzle?
The skeleton in the back of Biology
is mute with horror:
…what those with meat on their bones do.
The Guidance Office wants the smoke to clear
before you start on college applications.
In Home Economics, we’ll find the best way
to get the stain of a friend’s laughter
out of the air.
All that is left to do in Gym
is pick up and re-rack the balls,
maybe close a few lockers,
swab the floor.
The ink of History is blood;
the next chapter of the textbook
is always empty, waiting to be written.
Everyone have a pen?
In Art class, be quick when you draw from memory,
get the idea on to paper before the person you knew
fades away, disappears.
How many eulogies must we turn in to receive full
credit for this English assignment?