Valeria Pedraza, Guest Writer

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  Editors note: Below is a poem read during the LHS program in remembrance of the victims of the Marjorie Stoneham Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida. It was written by LHS Senior Valeria Pedraza
It’s a little “too soon” to talk about anything
So lets talk about me
My name is Valeria Pedraza-Aquino
I am 17 years old
I go to Leominster high School
I have the same routine everyday
I get up
Go to school
Come home
Get up
Go to school
Come home
I have many friends
And we sit together at lunch everyday
If you ask my teachers about me
They’ll tell you all about my jokes
The ones I tell when I’m awake that is
I like to sleep
During class mostly
I like to daydream
About life
Who will I take to prom?
Where will I go to college?
What will I be when I grow up?
What’s it like to grow old?
When will — boom
…It was too soon to talk
About gun violence
But while you were sending your thoughts and prayers to
Sandy Hook
Stoneham Douglas
Someone else picked up a gun
And entered another school
My school
And shot into my everyday routine.
I got up
Came to school
And never left
But my body did
In a bag
Black like the cloak thrown over the truth about gun violence
Out of site
Out of mind
A gunman came into MY school
And answered all my questions
As if the bullet was a magic crystal ball
Who will I go to prom with?
You won’t
Where will I go to college?
You won’t
What will I be when I grow up?
You won’t
Who will I marry?
You won’t
What’s it like to grow old?
You won’t
I won’t dance the night away
I won’t go to college
I won’t grow up
I won’t walk down the aisle
I won’t grow old
All questions answered by the scarlet red puddle
I lay in
Ask my teachers about me
They’ll tell you
All about the silence
The empty seat
My dreams are no longer
And as am I
My name was Valeria Pedraza
I WAS 17 years old
I HAD many friends
Who now sit at a table during lunch
That is short 1 person…
I would like to call for a moment of silence…
For the victims… to tell you its NOT “too soon”
That it is NOW
When we MUST speak
Before “too soon”
Becomes too late
For me
Or anyone else.