A Requiem of Remembrance

Longing for normal at college campuses

Ivy covered walls of knowledge,
hallowed halls of learning
aren’t so sacred
aren’t so safe.

Our children take their lives into their own hands
when they go away to college.
We not only hope they will make the grade
as they dive into their courses,
we pray they will make it out alive
without having to dive under a desk
while bullets fly overhead.


The final for which they cram
may not be that end-of-term exam.
It just might be their final day of life.

Too often examinations at a university
aren’t always based on what a professor says.
With eerie regularity the tests our students face
are rooted in what a classmate does.

A conflicted classmate
who acts on his depraved instinct
and robs fellow students of their futures
and an entire nation of its next breath.

It’s becoming epidemic.
Fragile freshmen scared and scarred
walk through a campus in a daze
fazed by the random acts of hate.

Sophomores find in death
that life is harder than any syllabus predicted.

Juniors are dwarfed by monsters
riding galloping nightmares
that trample any hope of sweet dreams.

Seniors have aged overnight.
Hopes of Commencement Day have been
complicated by the horrors of a day just past.

All because heinous crimes mock
the rhyme and reason
of normal life in dorms and dining halls
in libraries and lecture rooms.
O how we long for normal.

Lord, have mercy.