Your Only Fears: A Love Letter

by | Jun 3, 2022

I can remember being scared to go to school

There were a great many prompts for this fear

I wouldn’t get picked for the basketball game

The girl that I liked might find out

…might diss me

…might laugh at me

…might tell her friends

Or maybe I would have a meltdown on the next multiplication table speed drill

Or the kids at school might make fun of my LA Gears 

because, to them, they were BoBos

Or during the many rounds of the dozens 

I wouldn’t have a suitable come back to the way my mom walks when her “other leg is a kickstand”

Or the forever dilemma of report card day

How many F’s can I turn to B’s?

With black ink, focus, and audacity

I’d wish you all of those fears

If they might assuage you of this newer brand

This unholy confluence of

Fame 

Firepower

And Far-Right

And while the solution for a disruptive child

Is a suspension 

An expulsion

A reform school…

There seems to be no reform for the violence that the children in our states are facing…

Looking back, I can see that my phobias of yesterday were all imagination figments

But I’d wish you EVERY one of these 

If the truths of these newer ones could be appeased

I never could have imagined that the active shooter drill 

Would be more needed than 

A fire drill…

You ever see a school fire on the news???

I love you for your bravery 

And pray change that it will take to ease your only fears…

This is the first in a series of Love Letters written by poets that Love Now Media will publish. The people of Uvalde are experiencing immeasurable pain and suffering. Many of us refer to the tragic assault on life there as a mass shooting. But the loss, the injury, the trauma and the pain is personal to the families and community there. It is personal to us. We want Uvalde and other communities to know that our hearts are with them and our commitment to push for change is steadfast. At this printing there have been lost and wounded lives in more than 230 mass shootings across the US.

Carlo Campbell
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Carlo Campbell is a Philadelphia native, co-founder of Theater in The X, union actor, writer, striving human and author of the book Afloematic.