I Heard

I heard that my grandma died today.
She would play hide-and-seek with me over and over again,
even though I always hid in the same closet,
and she would buy me Mentos candy afterwards.
I heard that thousands of people die every day
because they don’t have enough to eat.
That’s why I have to eat all my vegetables
and be thankful for having three meals every day.
I heard that there’s a war on the opposite side of the world.
People decided to kill each other over an argument
that most people don’t even understand,
but in school the teachers taught me to solve problems by talking.
I heard that children the same age as me from around the world can’t go to school
because they have no money or they have no schools.
I wonder how they make friends.
I heard that there were more guns in the United States than there were people once.
My parents don’t have a gun, I think.
I heard that hundreds of people in my city get killed
or get hurt or get their things stolen every week.
That’s why I never talk to strangers and lock the window at night.
I heard that a family of four, mom and dad and son and daughter,
living two streets over all died in a car accident.
The driver of the other car was drunk and was going to jail for a long, long time.
I heard that Mr. Lee, five doors down, accidentally ran over the white cat
that visited my house every Tuesday to drink milk.
That is the third cat Mr. Lee ran over this month.
I heard that Elijah from Mrs. Stevens’ class broke his arm while he was skateboarding.
But, I saw him a few hours after I heard that and his arm was not broken and I was happy.
I heard that my grandma died today.

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