Lynda Scott Araya
Bio Note: I am a short fiction writer and educator from New Zealand. I own and manage a heritage B&B and have too many animals. Most recently, I have been published in The Bangalore Review and I have work forthcoming in a Weasel Press Anthology as well as in DarkWinter Literature.
Today in Uvalde
Today is the day he is going to die Though he fights with his mother over bread not crackers, Honey not jam, runs late to catch the bus laces flying, bag spilling, slams himself next to others all not ready to die, though all will, leaving behind coloured pencils, textbooks, a soft toy, parents, friends, teachers, neighbours, lives just begun. Today is the day she will see the dead, but she has time to spare, breakfast eaten, homework done, neighbour’s puppy walked, new baby sister kissed, and she wears her new sneakers purple and pink as a talisman all the better to run from the horror of crumbled small bodies — the teacher, blood-splattered, crouched over her friends that weird guy on the bus all dead. Today is the day he will receive the dead, hands steady, respectful with tiny bodies in dungarees, hair corn-braided, socks frilled, wide ribbons, rucked white knickers, t shirts decorated with cartoon figures dressed for a day at school, an afternoon with friends hanging upside down on the playground bars, burning bare legs on hot slides. He will smooth their clothes, wipe blood, biscuit crumbs, and tears, read a last note to a mum scrawled on a scrawny arm — I love you. Today is the day that Americans will cry that enough is enough that no more should die, that more must be done, and television, radio, social media commentators will prattle, condemn, analyse and I will watch New Zealand’s Prime Minster, pink suited, glorious talk to Jeremy Corbett of decisive action, pragmatism, a terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques, and wonder if today will be the day when they will stop saying no more, No more, no more, and then doing nothing. Again.
©2022 Lynda Scott Araya
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