The Quiz

by Christine Brandel

Active shooter is not the same as lockdown.
Watch the film. There will be a quiz.

               In my college’s parking lot, God loves guns.
                              In a five mile radius, there are ten times
                              as many churches as there are gun shops.
                              But there are six gun shops.

A panic button, yeah, like a bank teller.
Put it under your desk. Hit it. Someone
will come. Follow directions.

               Class policy:
                              Attendance is mandatory. Come prepared.
                              Turn off your phones and participate.
                              We’re in lockdown. Call 911. Do not talk.
                              I cannot let you in if the door is locked.
                              There’s an active shooter. Stay calm.
                              You choose. Run. Hide. Fight.
               Read the syllabus. There will be a quiz.

Active shooter is not the same as lockdown.
They are different. Like the difference

               between a past participle
                              and the present.

We all came together to learn.
Do not fail the quiz.


[Christine Brandel is a writer and photographer. Her book A Wife is a Hope Chest was released in October 2017 as the first full-length collection in the Mineral Point Poetry Series from Brain Mill Press. She also writes a column on comedy for PopMatters and rights the world’s wrongs via her character Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) at Everyone Needs An Algonquin. More of her work can be found at]