Gunslinger 101

Photo by Somchai Kongkamsri on
Gunslinger 101

Several school shootings
have prompted some 

     bloodthirsty citizens 

to urge school administrators  
to encourage and force

     classroom teachers

to arm themselves and be trained
to defend their classroom with handguns,

     a half-baked idea if I ever heard one.

The idea is that if an intruder,
bent on destruction, bursts into,

     a classroom,

amid an otherwise dull 
lesson on proper nouns,

     (always capitalized)

the teacher stands ready,
calm and brave,

     like Billy The Kid,

(who’d murdered many,
but caught a fatal bullet

     himself at twenty-one)
to protect his students and 
maybe even himself.

     I can see it now—

me cowering behind my desk,
the insane shooter shielding

     behind a wriggling

armful of shrieking Jennifer,
while wildly reducing the 


to shredded chips of powdered
rubble with one of those 

     AK47 gizmos.

Meanwhile, I’m peeking over 
My laptop, waiting to get a clear


an inch or two above 
Jennifer’s shoulder,
     without grazing her ear, 

all the while wishing I had
buried a few IEDs in the floor

     near the doorway 

so he could experience firsthand 
the finality 

     of smithereens.

Despite my lack of Seal Team training, 
I cursed out loud the fact I had 

     neglected to string up 

a few strands of barbed wire to hold him
at bay while I rummaged in my desk

     for a spare grenade to lob, 

but I didn’t dare take my eyes off him
for fear he might touch Jennifer


My best option seemed to be just to
wait until he blazed through a thousand 

     rounds of ammo,

and the local Swat Team could swoop
in, and mistaking me for the shooter,

     riddle me with bullets, 

and ask questions later, just like on
one of my dreaded pop quizzes.

. . . j
from the Senses and More Such collection

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