Poetry

February 28, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Barry Stock photo

 

By

Laura Atanacio Edington

 

 

 

They Asked Me If I Wanted a Gun

 

 

When I needed a locking cabinet to hide away my purse and answers to quizzes

I was told no

there was no money in the budget

 

When I asked for a new computer

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I needed new software for my computer

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I asked for new curriculum

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I needed desks because I had students sitting on the floor

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I asked for textbooks because each student didn’t have one

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I needed copy paper to run off tests and information for my students

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I asked for staples, and pencils, and pens

I was told no

there was no money in the budget

 

When I needed mildewed ceiling tiles replaced before someone became ill

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I asked for Clorox wipes and Kleenex during flu season

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I needed a bus to take students to a museum exhibit

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I asked for money to pay a professional speaker

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I needed funds for an afterschool program

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I asked for counseling for my students

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I needed a school car to do a home visit

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

When I asked for fees to attend educational conferences

I was told no

there was no money in the budget

 

When I needed a raise after ten years of stagnant pay

I was told no

There was no money in the budget

 

And now they ask me if I want a gun.

In the words of a teenage Florida student, “I’m calling BS.”

 

 

 

 

America, 2018

 

 

We wrap ourselves in God’s guns

like security blankets

that become shrouds

and Jesus weeps.

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Atanacio Edington

Laura Atanacio Edington is a retired educator who loves to write, read, travel, and binge watch various television shows. She has been published in the second edition of F(r)iction, Northeastern A&M’s Portmanteau I and II, and the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation’s Report. Her fiction and poetry have been recognized in various contests with F(r)iction and OWFI. She is an active member of OWFI and SCBWI and has been fortunate enough to workshop with such poets as Tony Hoagland, Taylor Mali, Nathan Brown, Ilya Kaminsky, Bob Franke, and David Biespiel. Laura, her husband Jerry, and their dog Sophie live in Miami, Oklahoma when they’re not out roaming the world.

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