Days Like These

By: Ali Al Safar

Days like this, I care about beauty

I wake up and look in the mirror

I fix my hair; I dress nicely

I wear a smile, and brush my teeth

Days like this I look for good news

I see the sun shining and feel the breeze

Days like this, I hear about life

I listen to my friends

Days like this I hear about couples

Their love, their joy

Days like this I laugh

I am in my own skin

Days like this I expect good news

But a day like this is the day others scream

Through panic, fear, bloodshed

Sounds and shrieks and guns

Days like this I hear about these stories

Days like this hear about gun control

They talk about safety, about death

Days like this I sleep to forget

And I wake up to remember that this is not the first; this is statistically normal

This is an issue and it’s not being solved

Days like this I ask why

I hear,

“…media sensationalizing”

“…poor mental health programs”

“…lax gun control”

Days like this-

No, days like these

For this is not one day

This is not an isolated incident, not an individual event, an independent attack

Days like these I hear my friends talk about how they feel

I hear my teachers soothe and plan

I see them scan the room, planning to defend

I go home and bite my tongue

My Mom does not need to be afraid, at least not more than me

I look at my test and see a future that I may not even be allowed to have

A future where I may not even have the choice, the decision

A future where surviving isn’t up to me

A future where I will no longer be allowed to feel

No longer allowed to experience

Days like these I see fingers being pointed

Days like these I look at the adults around and curse the fact that I’m not old enough myself

Days like these I tell myself that shedding tears won’t buy the time before another act of violence happens

Days like these I hear 50 sides to the story and not one of them are being worked on

These days make me think

I think that the children in Elementary schools should not need to know that they have to hide

That they have to disappear

Days like these I do not hear enough people asking, “What can I do to help?”

So,

Please tell me,

“What can I do to help?”

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