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Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro

Representing the 3rd District of Connecticut

Former Sandy Hook Student Pens Heartfelt Poem for Victims of Gun Violence

February 23, 2018
Press Release

NEW HAVEN, CT (February 23, 2018) – Earlier this week, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) received a poem by Geneva Cunningham, a 9th grade student at Hopkins School in New Haven who witnessed the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut when she was in 4th grade. DeLauro shared Geneva’s poem during her remarks at a press conference this morning calling on Congress to take up meaningful legislation to address gun violence.


Below is Geneva’s poem:



A mother called her child

Kissing his forehead

On his way to school


For the boy

It was a normal day

Until the darkness came

And swept the light away


We did not ask for this

We did not ask to hear gunshots

In slamming doors

And dropping books


We did not ask

To witness the murders

Of the children

We played with at recess


We did not know

That our teacher

Had taught us our final lesson

And we believed her

When she said

The red spilling from her foot

Was only paint


Sweet ignorance

The honey in our poisoned tea

The salt we mistook for sugar


But where do we draw the line?

Between knowledge and ignorance

When do we know to cover our eyes

When the darkness

Begins to swallow us whole


We united this country

By stating

“We are one”

And on that principle

Our forefathers said

You may “bear arms” to fight against them

You may defend

Against them


But who is this them?

If we are one

Who are we fighting against?

If we are one


And who are we defending?

If we are taking lives to begin with

Because killing is still killing


The number of lives lost

Is no victory

On our own soil

Or on any soil


We say we are equals

So who gets the power

To decide

Who lives and who dies?


Because by giving open access to these weapons

We are giving power

To trembling hands


And these hands

Were the ones to take the life of the little boy

The day he was learning

How to read


These machines were not designed for play

They were designed to kill

If we use them on the battlefield

If they can take a life

Then they are not worth it


Because I promise you

A life is worth more

Than any machine

Used for fun


Yet we bear these weapons

We claim that we enjoy

The crack

At the end of the rifle


Yeah, it may seem fun

On the other side

But what if

You were on the opposite end?




Crying out

For your life


For the lives of your friends

For the lives of your classmates

For the life of your teacher


We must be sure

Whose fingers we can trust

On the trigger

Because that choice

May determine

Your life


The lives of your friends

The lives of your family

And the lives of those you love