We were in the corner, away from the windows

As I hear the squeak of sneakers in the hall,
I feel a sudden kinship to everyone who has ever
had to crouch like this, had to cower like this,
while the bullets flew overhead.
I feel kinship to everyone who has ever
felt the rain of glass, the insidious fingers of gas
slide down their throats. We do what the drills
taught us, creeping under desks, huddling in closets,
looking for something to throw,
wondering if we, too, will be initiated
into the vast fraternity of the dead, of which
our little chapter grows and continues to grow,
one 30-round magazine at a time.

Lauren Scharhag is an award-winning writer of fiction and poetry. She is the author of Under Julia, The Ice Dragon, The Winter Prince, West Side Girl & Other Poems, and the co-author of The Order of the Four Sons series. Her poems and short stories have appeared in over eighty journals and anthologies, including Into the Void, The American Journal of Poetry, Gambling the Aisle and Glass: A Journal of Poetry. She lives in Kansas City, MO. To learn more about her work, visit: www.laurenscharhag.blogspot.com Read other articles by Lauren.