Poetry by Anisha Saripalli, Photography by Steph Strickland

For my dear friend, Carmen Schentrup


A pitter-patter of sound,

A symphony of words

heard before you’re seen.

Enemies turn the other way

When they hear the music.

I run into your arms,

my friend.

I can hear your voice

In a crowd.

February 14th:

A day of love,

A day filled with fear.

Fear of losing a friend, sibling, child,

People we hold near.

I hear their cries,

Anguish fills our town.

17 lives were taken,

17 eagles fell down.


They surround me.

Try to console me.

Try to ask what happened that day.

I lost your voice,

that sweet song,

While you were in a 

classroom that day.

March 24th:

A day of fighting.

Across the nation,

using our voices for

The greater good.

Speaking for those who can’t,

whose light was snuffed

before adulthood.


Singing at the top of their lungs,

enjoying ourselves without you at prom.

Signing letters to your family,

trying not to get distressed.

You would’ve looked 


in your prom dress.

June 3rd:

We close this chapter.

High school ends, 

Time for happily ever after.

But not for us,

the Eagles true.

No happily ever after,

if we don’t have you.


I hear them,

strangers at first.

Hugging me,

welcoming me,

till I burst.

Feeling normal again,

Until I think of you

and remember the pain.

I didn’t get to grieve,

had to hide the sadness

To make them believe

that I was strong.

Your goals and dreams are mine too.

I work towards them

To celebrate you.

I’m scared

that I’ll forget 

Your voice, 

that beautiful sound.

I’m scared that I can’t 

hear your voice

amongst a crowd.