West Nickle Mines School Shooting

Man enters classroom, opens fire;
Five Amish girls will die today—
Doves take flight from schoolhouse spire.

Two daughters cast upon the pyre
Their lives in hope it might allay
The man with gun who opens fire.

While outside, as police conspire—
the press reports, the parents pray;
Doves will cry, hearts expire.

Word travels fast along the wire,
But never fast enough to stay
Souls that go, guns that fire.

What insatiable desire
Transforms a man to bird of prey
That tears the sweet dove from her spire?

God only knows the truth entire—
why he shoots. The news replays:
Man enters classroom, opens fire.
Five doves alight on schoolhouse spire.

Lisa McCabe

Lisa McCabe reads and writes in Lahave, Nova Scotia, Canada. She studied film at York University and English Literature at The University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She has published poems in The Sewanee Review, Better Than Starbucks, Limestone Review, Black Bough, and various online and print journals. Although she no longer lives in Worcester, Massachusetts, she considers All Saints Episcopal Church, her home congregation.

'West Nickle Mines School Shooting' has 1 comment

  1. January 29, 2023 @ 6:50 pm Cynthia Erlandson

    I think this is a very insightful use of the villanelle form, as the (partial) repetitions emphasize the images that attempt to capture the horrifying, it-all-happened-too-fast snapshots of the dreadful incident. (And I think that making the repetitions other than word-for-word, shows more artistry than repeating lines verbatim.)


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