Instead of firing his AR-fifteen seventy-two times
the gunman cracked the school like an egg.
The brick shell fragmented leaving gaps
with views of the cornfield for the students inside.
Somehow the gunman placed on the ground
the only patch of snow available in Iowa that July.
The gunman held off the arriving police
until all the children could escape the tyranny of syntax
the mnemonic repetition of times tables
and a gym class that refused double dutch jump ropes.
Crows flew into multiple houses and gathered up
all the dropped nail clippings and shed hair.
Down the road in an abandoned barn flaking red paint
Billy kissed Jenny for the first time.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney