Disclaimer: This is a poetic piece describing my personal experience the night of the tragic death of Lauren McClusky. Through in the poem I am attempting to encapsulate my personal thoughts as the night unfolded, I know that parts will resonate with every U of U student, especially those on campus when the tragedy occurred.
My mother’s Niall Horan ringtone shrieks underneath my bed,
I am startled that 7:30 A.M. Gen Chem came so quickly.
My roommates are tapping on my door and saying my name,
I am confused.
The words “there’s been a shooting” come rushing out of their mouths like California ocean.
We sit in the dark, in the middle of our windowless oasis,
Like we are in high school again and
Gun violence was still a hurricane threat.
I feel like I’m back to the first day of my Caribbean Cruise
Where they line you up by cabin and
They practice boat safety in case we are ever the Titanic
Am I the Titanic?
There was crying and there was praying
My roommates somehow stoic,
Against the friction of the iceberg
I am fleeing against.
With my mother relieved, I become worried.
I call my friend who works late
She tells me she got the storm threat immediately before coming to her door,
And I am grateful.
The waves come rolling in,
The police broadcast mutters in the darkness as
My roommate presses her ear to her laptop speaker,
We are afraid.
I am afraid I am about to be another news article
I am afraid we are the new rallying cry of “Enough is Enough”
I am afraid I am never gonna see another one of my sister’s volleyball games
I am afraid I am the Titanic.
The longest two hours passes.
My friend who lives at home calls me
I wonder how she felt,
Receiving the alerts and knowing she was completely safe.
The secure in place lifts
I am now safe
And the waves rolled in,
Unfolded the story I was not ready to hear.
With one week past since,
We lost Lauren McClusky
I realize my Google Chrome
Automatically fills in ‘McClusky’ once I type ‘Lauren’
And this disheartens me
Once a name becomes a simple piece
Of the Internet
As if she was just another news report
So, I’m not going to allow her
To be another news report
Today I walk on campus powerfully,
And choose to be kinder and serve more than I ever have.
I hope she is the last,
The last woman’s life that we have to mourn.
For a problem that,
Should have been eradicated years ago.
Even poetically, words cannot express how I felt after learning of Lauren McClusky’s death. This act of domestic violence cannot be taken lightly. Lauren was a bright and happy U of U student who embodied every trait that a U student should. Her tragic death is another reminder that women still do not have the power to break up with romantic partners peacefully. Similarly, her death reaffirms the harsh reality that domestic violence, no matter how progressive our society appears to be, is a perpetual problem. May we never forget Lauren McClusky and her legacy and honor her by choosing to be kind, to serve, and to be a light to others both on and of the University of Utah campus.
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