Poor Odds

“Burned all my notebooks. What good are notebooks? They won’t help me survive.” – Life During Wartime, The Talking Heads

The death count rises from a first-grade class in Connecticut.

My mother is a teacher at an elementary school.

Last week a woman, born the same year as she,

Was struck and killed in front of an elementary school,

About five minutes’ drive from hers.

Beneath my big lonely 1 the denominator is shrinking.

Improvements in life expectancy do little

For me a man already born in 1984.

Ten years ago this fall a father & son

Drove around Washington, D.C.,

Shooting people in front of schools

–          Called themselves angels.

I’ve kept the notebook from that time.

What good is there in reading what I wrote?

Could I make something of whatever

Appeal to G-d I made.

I’ve got loose lines, like,

“Blessed be G-D who causes bread to rise,”

Or “we have modest demands: wash your hands”

Recently orphaned & looking for a poem.

but what are the chances they’ll get through?