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  • Samantha Hoch

The Weary Lambs

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

Imagine a life

in which there have never not

been thoughts and prayers for classmates,

the victims.

We are the lockdown generation

she explains to adults

with a lack of concern,

a vacant and damaged disposition

that is as foreign to the rest of us

as watching bits of

crumbling mosques and schools

drift away with each sandstorm

and past disagreements that weather

a slow degradation

and dig deeper roots into

a lifetime of war.

Children are the weary bearers

of an adult rationalization

holding pawns hostage at the mouth

of a barrel.

Two decades of protection

for the rest of us,

who have not yet murdered.

Whatever it takes to justify

an unbridled lust

for handheld brutality.

That kick of adrenaline

into the shoulder of an otherwise very




citizen of the United States.

Who has the strength to

extinguish a violent fire

raging through playgrounds,

as flames reach

inside of safe-rooms

and under extra small

bulletproof backpacks?

Who but our children can understand

the real threat of violence

and active shooter drills

before and after the alphabet

in between fractions and

fractured history

riddling holes in nap time

and basketball

and computer lab

like bullets made of bullying

and absent parents

and the pressure to succeed?

Who’s voice but yours

is better tuned

for a song of reform

that will shield these lambs

from the jaws of an insatiable wolf?

If you’re asking lambs to survive

the slaughterhouse

and grow thicker skin

and rise against the farmhouse

with articulation

and justification

and an argument for life

that hasn’t been said,

then we’re already dead.

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