Thoughts and Prayers

Roll call in homeroom is shorter by four names today. The empty desks have already been pushed to the back of the room. Outside, the flag flies at half mast, which means we’re still allowed to say goodbye. I add my name to the cards on their desks and pray their souls find peace.

Soon, the flag will rise to full mast, and when it does, we won’t be allowed to say their names anymore.

Why?

“It’s the price of our freedom,” they say, and, “this is not the time for questions.” They’re angry when we speak. How dare we bring it up at all. It’s the price of our freedom.

Except, I don’t feel free at all.