by John C. Mannone
looking for a bus, train, or a plane
of for a basic photography class
of buses popped into view as in a photo-
shoot for a magazine cover, glossy in the after
lead-chromate-yellow; parked on asphalt
puddles reflecting the end of the day—fire red sky
from a setting sun; wisps of steamy mist hovering.
summer, but some kids won’t be
picnicking. But no more bullies, or
more detention, or recess, no more
overprotective parents. These children
expelled from their classrooms
gunmen-boys who cut them short, too
ever reach the school bus steps again.
gray-green leather seats remain empty
for the quiet ghosts of children
the liminal shadows.
In memory of the children lost to gun
violence at Sandy Hook, Rancho Tehama,
Robb Elementary schools, and many others since
C. Mannone has poems in Windhover, North
Dakota Quarterly, Poetry South, Baltimore
Review, and others. Winner/Nominee of numerous
contests/awards, John edits poetry for Abyss
& Apex and other journals. He’s a physics and chemistry professor at
Alice lloyd College in Kentucky.