The pill doesn’t ever get easier to swallow.

The pill doesn’t ever get easier to swallow

We did a practice drill today
We piled stuff in front of the door in case there was a bad guy
We stayed real quiet
Except for some people ran around the room
And one friend got a drink by the sink the WHOLE time
Some people even hid behind the teacher’s desk

We practiced three times…
Holds up three fingers
Wait maybe two… maybe one… maybe just one time
Holds up two fingers, then puts down one finger

If you’re out of the room and the green door is locked,
Meaning her classroom door. She is in the green room.
You go to the bathroom and hide in the stall
And you lock it
The bathroom is the only place in the school with no doors
So you just go there and you lock the stall door

Those words, “You just go in there and you lock the stall door
Spoken so nonchalantly by my five year old
And yet those words bear so much weight
A hypothetical five year old, locked in a stall
A five year old with freckles
And teeth missing
Somebody’s whole world
Locked in a bathroom stall

Why do we live in a world where we need to teach five year olds where to hide
AND what to do if there is a “bad guy”?

The pill doesn’t ever get easier to swallow.

Categorized as Krista

By kristasjots

Reader. Writer. Teacher. Singer of Random Tunes. Lover of Jokes, Doodling, & Flair Pens.


  1. I HATE THIS. Not your post, but this “drill,” this *feeling,* this world that we live in. These words bear weight. Thank you for sharing your heart. You’re not alone, the pill doesn’t get easier to swallow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear kristasjots,


    Firstly, despite the somberness of the content – your poem is beautiful.

    It immediately reminded me of my disdain for having to complete a similar drill with my second graders many years ago. I loathed crouching below bookcases and having to show them the safe spaces in my room; practicing code words and the like in preparation for a potential “bad guy.” It made me so – sad.

    At the same time, I was thankful of the proactive efforts of our campus, knowing that we were trying to put practices in place that might potentially keep them safe. Ironically, we did have an estranged parent try to remove a child, at which time said protocol was in play.

    Thank you for so artistically and articulately sharing the angst and apprehension. It is still consoling to know that a teacher as compassionate as you is caring for our most vulnerable, even when the pill is hard to swallow. I’m sure that is consolation for concerned parents who can’t be there throughout the day. For this and many reasons seen in this text, you are a treasure.

    With Warmest Regards,

    ~Dr. Carla Michelle Brown


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