(ed. note: While not a student paper, this poem was written by a 14-year-old, and seems to capture much of how students hear Jonestown’s echoes across the years.)
I walk through the quiet streets of Jonestown,
My thoughts spin as I turn and look around.
I only see bodies sprawled on the land,
To bring the freedom and justice as we had planned.
Yesterday there were a thousand people in the street.
Yesterday I’d heard the pitter-patter of youthful feet.
Yesterday my dear Jones had said.
If we can’t fight them living we must fight them dead.
With a vat filled with water and cyanide touch
For those too young in their infancy years,
We gifted them syringes with the poisonous tears.
Every woman, man, and child take their turn.
To follow Jones orders is to what we all yearn.
In but a few minutes we all will pass on,
To live in freedom and justice foregone.
(Adapted and reprinted with permission from Razzerpie.)