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This Generation

By Hannah Cushing
Photos by Ellie Zupancic

"Those kids are a gunshot wound"

They say It like they're surprised


As if we are the ones who sit in silence waiting for change to come

Like we don't hide our guns under our bed sheets


But we don't fill our guns with bullets


We don't shoot to kill


Instead we stuff our guns with words, and intelligence


With compassion and selflessness


Where no room for inequality can squeeze through


We shoot out our voices for those who can't be heard


We are the change people need because 


Somewhere over seas a girl is being sold at 11 years old


But here she's getting an iPhone 


To read about unarmed people being shot in back

even though they weren't meant to die in the first place


We are a gunshot wound


We are the “hopeless generation”

Because the ones who came before stomped on our heads

and told us “The world is just a cruel place”

as they shoved numbers and letters in our face

But the only cruelty was them

They took our minds and left us

with weapons we didn’t even want to use

Because “what’s the use” when

we began seeing that we couldn't actually make changes


That even when we recycled

or loved everyone


The earth was still being harmed and we were still being cut down


And now we are berated for paying too much attention

to our phones than the world

But what happened to “The world is just a cruel place”?

We’ve tried

And we try

We are the hopeless generation


We are the ones who won’t give up

For the girl over seas and the man in the street

For the woman pleading for someone to hear her

For the boy who thinks he has to be masculine

For the ones who feel they don’t belong

For our future children So that they may live

in a world that accepts them

better than we ourselves have been

And they can sleep soundly

knowing they are safe on earth

instead of searching for a way off of it

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