What They Expected (thinking of Sandy Hook After Obama’s Speech 1/5/16)


What They Expected
(thinking of Sandy Hook After Obama’s Speech 1/5/16)

to hold a pencil
(which is actually kind of hard
to get right)
to learn to type

to stand in line,
maybe leaning a little–okay, super-a lot
maybe on
their best friend–
it was a joke!

to eat lunch stalked only
by the smell
of ketchup,
maybe too of milk, maybe even
chocolate milk.

to do a bunch of stuff
and again
and again
to get really good at it.


A draft poem for Real Toads Open Platform hosted by Kerry O’Connor.   This has been edited slightly since first posting.

Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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11 Comments on “What They Expected (thinking of Sandy Hook After Obama’s Speech 1/5/16)”

  1. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Yes, yes, yes. No single person had the right to deny them that.

    I think Obama is to be commended in trying to effect such significant change in his final year of office. Hats off to him if he can get it done.

  2. oh, oh my. your last stanza is a punch in the gut.

  3. That does have a punch.

  4. That’s what school should teach.. That what should have been… Great lines

  5. gillena Says:

    Interesting To Do List poem

    Happy New Year

    Much love…

  6. Sherry Marr Says:

    This hits the heart, my friend……that is what they expected. I just read the book written by the teacher who stuffed her classroom of kids into a small toilet, thus saving their lives….but not their psyches, as they heard the gunfire and pleading and screaming and, after, passed the fallen bodies. Six years old. Unthinkable. I have always loved Obama. I love him even more that he can cry for what we should all be crying for.

  7. Jim Says:

    Do it over and over until you know it by heart. Terrible that those kids were deprived of this. Med school is still like this, it works. Not TMI but repeat the essentials. Used to belong to the barbers until some begin to specialize. Over and over, where to place the leaches. 🙂
    First grade here in Texas is teaching theory of math, the kids learn to apply it. Like law schools, some teach where the court house is, others teach legal theory. Ours was the latter.

  8. hedgewitch Says:

    So poignant–if you will forgive an overworked word–and so true of this horrible incident. We as adults learn slowly and through a series of personal experiences, good and bad, that life is seldom scripted the way we expect it to be, but for children to learn of the horrors of a twisted world like this is unthinkable. Yet it keeps happening. Very clean and lucent poem, k.

  9. Life can be a series of do overs….sometimes we learn and sometimes we learn again and again. Wonderful response to the prompt. 🙂

  10. Mama Zen Says:

    this is so beautiful and sad.

  11. M Says:

    deeply sad ~

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