Breaking News: Manhunt, in the classroom

Students sit suddenly silent;
classmates who try to talk, shushed immediately
this is no time for inane, irrelevant chatter. shut up
now. “police with guns drawn in Watertown” reads the screen.
eerily captivating images of law enforcement invade
the classroom. Massachusetts is too close
to home.
Irate, one student
shouts: “Why, why mention that
he is Muslim? So is she. Is she involved?”
No, the broadcast continues, they’ve not found
connection. him. Social media reports
draw no link. And yet, like so many, the dead suspect
spoke of his weariness
online. A cry for help? A resolution?
Do we care?
So much hurt. Senseless. Senses becoming overwhelmed
with images of violence. and
of hope. there were those who ran into chaos.
they ran to help the fallen when others ran away.
“We can’t control what’s going to happen.” And that scares
us still. engaged learners focused on the news – a channel
rarely watched. “I want to punch him.” she admits it,
a usually kindhearted teen, she’s pained. breaking
news, breaking spirits. insecure
feelings. we are not safe.
not safe. for people who knew him
he was ‘normal.’ suspect unsuspected.
a glimpse at classmates surrounding
the lunch room table.
which among us could
snap. and when. suspicion is
growing. they search among peers.
“He’s got nothing to lose…”
“We do not know their motivations”
do you?

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