Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Robbed at Ten

 Robbed at Ten

“They are just little kids. They don’t know how to 

protect themselves. Give me a gun and some body 

armor, and I’ll go in myself!”--a parent in Uvalde.

We were watching a movie, some dumb educational

thing about bullying.

Bang, pop, bang, pop, pop, pop, pop!!!

What was that? I asked.

I don’t know, my teacher said.

Thunderous gunfire erupted next door.

Children, get under the tables and pretend to be dead!

We all dove for the floor. I could see the adjoining door

open and the legs of the shooter entering. My

teacher turned to face him, and was shot three times.

I closed my eyes. Jesus I thought. The gunman said

nothing; his rifle did the talking. He sprayed the room,

braaat, braaaat, pop-pop-pop-pop.

I was hit four times, three times in the legs, and once

in my left arm. I went into shock. Some of us 

screamed, but the AR-15 led the conversation. 

I could see the clock. It was over in three minutes. I

heard him reloading his clip. 

The windows exploded as four more shots rang 


The police were firing at the gunman. He returned fire 

with a lethal barrage. The cops retreated. He popped

in a fresh clip from his back pack, and shuffled back 

into the other classroom. I dialed 911.

This is 911, what is your emergency?

I whispered: We have a shooter at Robb Elementary, 

and he is killing us all--and I hung up. My teacher lie 

near me. He was still alive too. The gunman was 

shooting at the  cops from the other classroom. I 

glanced around the room. It looked like the floor of the 

slaughterhouse our class had visited. I tasted vomit. I 

could hear the shooter pacing.

The police will breach our rooms any minute now, and 

take down this son of a bitch. If I get medical attention, 

I may survive.

But the breach never came. All I could hear was the 

gunman pacing and whistling. I lie there forever. I 

began to shiver, and my legs went numb. I was 

bleeding a lot, with blood pooling all around me. 

Some of us were still alive. There was a low moan, 

whimpering and whispering for Mommy. I could see 

the clock. It had been an hour since the last shot. I

could feel myself slipping into darkness, dying quietly.

I could hear the voices of children in the netherless,

the misty void. I rushed toward the light. I emerged

into a sunny day at the beach. I was met by three girls

I knew. They were giggling, and had bright ribbons in

their hair. We held hands and headed toward the

welcoming waves. The white sand was warm on my

bare feet. Gulls sang hosannas. We joined the rest of 

the Robb kids who were splashing in the shallows.

Chicks who are nest-bound

are easy prey for rooks and hawks;

I weep for them all.

Glenn Buttkus

Poswted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub


sarah said...

It is so hard to read this, Glenn. You are so good at creating a scene. This is haunting.

Merril D. Smith said...

As Sarah said, this was so very difficult to read, Glenn. But--thank you for writing it.
We need to end this horror.

lynn__ said...

Powerful, Glenn. It's all so senseless! When/how we gonna protect the children? The irony of the anti-bullying film...I read the Uvalde shooter had been bullied (as many shooters have been).

brudberg said...

and in the end, the gunman just wanted to be shot... just as long as he could bring as many as possible to the grave.

Grace said...

A heart breaking read Glenn. It is horrible to imagine and experience it.