Death by Numbersby Isa Merel
Student at Bend Senior High School
For better or worse I do not know.
One year until responsibility,
I'm still unsure if I'm ready to go.
Two years old and already talking,
My parents must have been so proud.
Two years old and I don't remember anything
Those memories must not speak so loud.
Three years ago, I started high school,
A mostly decent, but sometimes scary place.
Three years of endless school-induced stress,
Led by people that seem to be in an arms race.
Four years of my life will be spent in here,
Nineteen-hundred students shoving past me every day.
Four of them will become my closest friends,
To the rest I may just seem like helpless prey.
Five fingers on each of my calloused hands,
Three of which I use to write poems and plays.
Five years old and hearing my mother's voice read:
"I'll love you forever, I'll love you for always."
Six is my little brother's favorite number,
He teaches me about it as if I understand.
Six is how many years older I am than he,
I hope I'm always there to hold his hand.
Seven days a week, I think about school,
About homework, about drama, about classmates.
Seven days go by painfully,
Wondering what kind of gun will decide our fates.
Eight, the age I began the third grade.
My favorite year of school, by every account.
Eight friends made me the happiest I've ever been,
Fear, of any magnitude, could never put it out.
Nine years of my life I've spent playing soccer,
Some of my fondest memories made by this sport.
Nine of my closest friends could be in the room with me
When each of our barely-lived lives are cut short.
Ten years it took me to learn how to manage
My curly, unruly, blonde, frizzy hair.
Ten deaths per 100,000 U.S. citizens could be saved,
But not by "thoughts and prayers."
Eleven weeks until I take another test
One that will decide my future forever.
Eleven points of difference can tell me
If I'm truly intelligent, or just kinda clever.
Twelve years old and watching the Sandy Hook news,
Terrified out of my mind of the horror I saw on TV.
Twelve days before Christmas,
Unwrapped presents those children would never get to see.
Thirteen, my first year as a teenager,
I thought I had my whole life planned out...
Thirteen colonies fighting for independence needed guns,
But a now-developed nation should at least show some doubt.
Fourteen, the age I started a new chapter of my life,
A new country, a new language, a new school.
Fourteen days; two weeks later and I still don't know
What could compel someone to be so cruel.
Fifteen seconds go by, 150 bullets are fired.
A race so advanced in technology, yet we can't see the issue.
AR-15 it is called, the murder weapon behind problems
That won't be solved by another box of tissues.
Sixteen, last year, when I was given another treat.
The ability to drive my own car, my own boat.
Sixteen years on this earth and I'm given the right
To put people's lives in danger, yet I can't even vote.
Seventeen lives were lost a day meant to celebrate love.
Lost, to heaven, to God, at the barrel of a gun.
Seventeen lives were taken from their parents,
All of them my age— shot— bullet after bullet, one by one .