In Honor of March for our Lives

In honor of March for our Lives, some of the CisternYard Media staff would like to honor all students affected by gun violence with a poem and a series of photos taken at the recent gun violence rally in Marion Square. 

Poem by McKayla Conahan

Photos by Hannah Broder




We stand on the repurposed grounds

where one Valentines Day a rifle

was auctioned off under the slogan

“Give them what they really want.”


This sea of pain and proselytizing

feels too much like when I was young

when I sank into the pew while those more righteous

than me raised their flabby arms up

and held together the sky, the way I feel

my spirit diving below the grass         now,

rooting and rocking me.


I am surrounded by violence

and yet the bugs are out and so are we.


Here is the goldenrod church

I waited for my ex during the bomb threat.

And waited.


How is grief to be measured? on a day of love?

When it’s someone you love?

When my brother was young, his friend was shot

because someone’s dad’s gun was unlocked.


When I was young––because I do not feel so anymore––

a classmate died because what he had

access to was cold, metal, and unkind.


If I die in a mass shooting

forget burial.


If I slump into a mass grave

forget me.


Let me help count out the candles

for luminaires. I will provide an accurate number.


Please sidestep

the small pile of vomit

where bitterness overflowed.


As we stand in the idyllic twilight

with the stakes of signs

and the torches of vigil-light

we call out not to God to fix this,

but rather the demons who started it.


We shall know them by name.



bring the coins from your eyes–

they yet outnumber our oppressors.

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