Don't Shoot, Just Listen

Friday morning.

2 weeks before Christmas.

9:35 a.m and a door is opened, a mouth is shut. Gunshots.

A teacher protects.

Bullets pour down like acid rain. Gunshots.

Call 911. She will die to protect you.  

Gunshots, then silence.

20 desks will be empty tomorrow.

Rescue too late.

Close your eyes. Hold hands, they said. Don’t look at what you’ve left behind.

“Our hearts are broken today,” America.


26 will never sing, never balance checkbooks, never vacuum a floor, never walk on the moon.


Sunday night. 7:09 p.m, and red is the only color of the rainbow he can taste.

A pack of skittles, an Arizona tea, and a man who sees the color of skin, not soul.

Call 911, but they don’t protect you.



1 will never sing, never balance checkbooks, never vacuum a floor, never walk on the moon.


Friday and its 12:38 a.m.

A birthday, an anniversary, a pregnancy, and a midnight movie all gone wrong.

Eyes choked with tear gas and a man who thought he was the Joker.



12 will never sing, never balance checkbooks, never vacuum a floor, never walk on the moon.


Every day 289 will never sing, never balance checkbooks, never vacuum a floor, or walk on the moon,

but you tell me

that the second amendment means,

that having a weapon, a weapon designed for streamlined murder,

is your fundamental right?


Please tell me then

Where is our right to personal safety?


How do I feel safe

When I never know if I’m a walking target

Or just lucky this time?


How do I feel safe

When cars are more regulated

Than guns,

When mental illness is a stigma

Instead of a treatable disease,

And when checking a background

Before handing out a lethal weapon

Suddenly became an invasion of privacy?


Understand, i don’t want to take your gun away

Really, I don’t want your gun.

I just want my blood to run coarsing through my veins,

Not onto the pavement.


I want my children to go to school

To learn how to create,

Not how to destroy.


And I want to stop feeling

Like all the stripes on the American flag

Should be red.

So please- don’t shoot- just listen.


MVP-Most Valuable Poet

powerful msg


Dear ibeatle04,

Your poem is very powerful and haunting. From the moment I read it about a month ago, it has stayed with me. I am musician, and I strongly believe that artistic endeavors offer a crucial voice in encouraging positive social change.

To this end, I am part of a burgeoning artistic endeavor that seeks to raise awareness and encourage action on social issues. We are a new choir in New York called “INSPIRE: A Choir for Unity” and our mission is to engage communities through the choral arts and in partnership with community and non-governmental organizations who fight for a more just society. Through the beauty and power of live musical performances we hope those who hear us will be inspired to address social injustices.

Our inaugural performance will be in solemn remembrance of the Newtown massacre on the occasion of its fifth anniversary. While researching material for this concert, I was deeply moved by your poem "Don't Shoot, Just Listen". We would like to read it during the concert. Would that be ok?






Dear ibeatle04,

Just wanted to check in again! The concert that we are planning to incude your poem in is now scheduled for November 17th in NYC. Hope to hear from you.



Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741