the color of roses

February 18, 2018

You woke up four days ago

Same time as you always have.

Ate your breakfast

Drank the coffee your mom always said would keep you short

Did your chores

Texted that boy back

Reminded mom

That you'd late to dinner

"But my lasagna," she replied

"Spanish test," you say. 

She shrugged, smiled and handed you your lunch.

"We love you! Happy Valentine's Day!" 

"Love you." You said. 


7 hours later

You sit at your desk, 

Your teacher  goes on about how Industrial Revolution shaped our wold.

How America will never be the same, or something. 

But the red petals of your Valentine's rose still holds a few of its water droplets

A small note is strung to its stem by some frizzy pink string. 

You read the note once and a thousand times over again

"To this day and forever. Love, Ben. " it read.

Best Valentine's Day, ever. You think.

You cheeks quickly fill up with the color of roses, and you couldn't help but smile. 


The door behind you swings open, slamming into the wall next to it. 

Somebody must have forgotten to give a kid their rose.

Maybe it's that girl coming back with the hall pass. 

You turn around

It's boy from your Spanish class--

No roses

No hall pass


a gun. 


What's happening--


The girl next to you screams

The boy from your Spanish class,

He shoots you third.

Everywhere and nowhere burns all at once 

The color of roses

It spills


Your chest 

It hurts

It's on your hands now

The color of roses



the color of roses.


And 4 days later,

They are talking about mental health 

Gun control

Youtube comments and Instagram pictures

Politicians and 18 other schools

Tall tell signs 

AK 47s and 

bad parenting 

But what about you. 

What about how you were just about to graduate.

What about how you were just about to begin your life.

What about how you were someone's daughter.

Someone's son. 

What about how you were just about to have the greatest valentine's day.

What about that.

What about you. 


So here is my note to you, dear child: 

Your mother misses you

Your father misses you 

And even though she gets distracted, 

All of America misses you too. 

And you are not statistic, 

You are not another reason

Why people hate our government.

You are not the consequence

Of a school's poor security. 


You are a life that was taken too soon. 


May America never fully recover from what has happened to you. 

May we stop arguing long enough to actually do something. 

May we stop choosing sides, and act on behalf of you. 

May we stop pretending, and protect each other on behalf of you. 

May someone take a stand for you, and refuse to ever let this happen again. 


Even if it means we're uncomfortable for awhile, 

Let us grieve the loss of you

Let us grieve

The America that once was.


May we never forget. 



With Love, 

Meliah Lynn




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