June 6, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Laura Lee




Teach to Kill



She did not speak

all semester but smiled some towards May:

Lilia, bad teeth and bad ears thick

glasses and a limp–

her shyness overwhelming.


Tell me, am I to shoot to kill Lilia?


Roberto sprints into the room but he, too is

afraid to speak, his antics silly and sweet; Miss, he whispers They out to get me,

can I stay here?

Can I stay after school? Can I eat lunch here? I look

just like my cousin, But I ain’t in a gang.


Tell me, am I to shoot to kill Roberto?


Each day, I leave their world

knowing I can sit outside

in the night, cool drink in my hand cling to

my safety, my books,

my belief

that what we create is sacred that all

are created equal,

only some of us have had

a better chance.


Tell me, am I to shoot to kill



In the halls, teachers now seem

heavier, sadder,

some ready to play bongos or scream some

tearing up already

some angry voices yelling We are



Tell us,

Will you teach the teachers to kill?






Laura Lee

My full name is Laura L. (Lee) Koenig and I write under the name Laura Lee. I am a teacher, poet, and writer living near Chicago, IL. My most recent publication was a poem in the Journal of Modern Poetry, Volume 21, Dear Mr. President. My website is at http://lauraleewriterpoeteducator.com

I’ve taught every grade level from Kindergarten to College, and spent most of my teaching career teaching at the high school level, reading, English, and ELL. I am passionate about the power of literacy to improve lives! Currently, I teach at the College of DuPage outside of Chicago, IL.

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