Before They Could Spell Their Names

Clouds block the sun today. Every time I close my eyes I see: Children under their desks, Mr. Franklin pushing his desk to the door, and the shadow coming under it. I hear the pounding on the door and the shortened breaths of 28 children. I open my eyes and see the glossy multi-colored alphabet letters hanging from the ceiling. I see the cubbies filled with semi- open backpacks and frozen lunchboxes. I see the vibrant finger paintings with misspelled signatures posted on the wall. And of course, I see the yellow tape blockading the blood-stained Winnie the Pooh rug.

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