I tell my students

I tell my students not to die

Think of the paperwork, I beg them.

I tell them not to climb up trees or run out into the road

Do it at home, I tell them.

You don’t care, they say. You wouldn’t care if I died.

The school needs the money, so please don’t, I say.

Because I can’t explain the devastation that comes

When I think of their faces- not sweet faces, not innocent faces,

Not faces shining in wonder- but faces that are much too young,

Hearts I have learned to carry in my heart,

And think about death in the same day

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