Shantih Journal 3.1 - Page 39

Attention maggie rosen A moment of static, breathing, a sharp bell, followed by the principal’s voice: Attention, please we’re having a code red, this is just a drill. Put them in the cubbies, close the blinds prepare for the lightning strike of anger, mental illness, gunfire. If someone knocks, you don’t answer. If someone calls for help from the locked door, you ignore. Four year-olds don’t get drill or code red. I say “pretend we are napping,” I sing Twinkle Twinkle, I squeeze the forearm, smell the hair, count the sweet pattern of beaded braids and think how these would function as rosary, as last rites. A sharp bell, and the principal says “May I have your attention, May I please have your attention. There is food in the kitchen.” But there is no food in the kitchen; that is code for all is clear. Stop pretending. Undo the drill. How I wonder what you are. 39