Niki Herd

26 | Sandy Hook*

“More guns than roses, foes is shaking in their boots” ~ Biggie

Wonder how many were planted the season
before the sun was at its worst,
unfurling heads arranged outside in a line
bright like kiddos on the first day
of school. Some say yellow is for joy, pink
for a kind fragility, red for that four-letter word
stronger than like. Then there’s white.
The color of angels and doves. The bridal hue.
Some say the white rose expresses loyalty,
a different way of saying I am worthy of you.


*White roses with the faces of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were displayed in the center of town a month after the massacre, which left 26 dead, including 20 children. (BBC News)


Niki Herd grew up in Cleveland and earned degrees in Creative Writng from the University of Arizona and Antioch University. Nominated Nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, she is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has been supported by the Astraea Foundation and the DC Commission on the Arts, and has appeared in Feminist Formations, North American Review, The Feminist Wire, Split This Rock's The Quarry, and Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky. Her first collection of poems, The Language of Shedding Skin was published as part of Main Street Rag's Editor Select Series in 2010. She lives in Houston. To read more by this author: Five Poems, Vol. 13:2, Spring 2012