Take A Step

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this poem for Dayna Less. On November 19, 2018, as she was preparing to leave Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, a gunman outside opened fire. After murdering his ex-fiance, the suspect entered the hospital lobby, and murdered a police officer. As the elevator door opened, and Dayna stepped into the normally-quiet first floor, she was shot multiple times and murdered by the same suspect. She was not involved with the shooter in any form, and she still lost her life. Out of the three victims in that shooting, her demise impacted me the most. She was simply in an elevator, not knowing her exiting would lead to her death. It spoke to me, bothered me.

Submitted: November 22, 2018

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Submitted: November 22, 2018



A stray bullet fires,
a desperate mother's
pleading cries,
the baby she had raised since birth,
won't be coming through her
front door tonight.
Police sirens screech down
a quiet avenue,
she's just another one-time
story on the evening news.
Her name awakens me in
the completely dusky hour,
the candles in my window flicker,
where her face peers inside,
inquiring answers to questions
the light cannot answer.

Take a step,
her family advised her as
she left the only cottage
she ever labeled her home,
heading full speed to her 
academic studies at 
Purdue University,
where peers of her very own
day and age, gather among the
vast diversity.
American's only view their
evening news,
to discover where the scorching flames
are burning, which direction the
wind may be blowing, 
whether or not we'll receive a 
fresh shower of rain.
The weather forecast is ahead,
but first:
a mother's intolerable, unbearable pain.
Her young and successful offspring
was shot multiple times as
she took an innocent step
off a civilian elevator, directly
into the line of fire.
A beautiful adolescent woman,
in the very prime of her life.
She enjoyed repairing the injured,
her devoted fiance,
and enjoying a little simple fun,
but on a quiet Monday afternoon,
as she exited an elevator,
her pure existence was demolished
by a stray round
from a nine-millimeter handgun.

Her name was Dayna Less.
The facts do not change.

© Copyright 2019 Andrew Patterson. All rights reserved.

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