14 on December 6… every year, again.

Every year on December 6, we think about the 14 young, bright, motivated women who were murdered in their classrooms for pursuing their academic and professional passions. My old friend Anna Humphrey wrote these poems forever ago, and every year, even though we’ve all aged and grown and had related hopes either bolstered or broken, these poems just get right to the heart of everything.

Read all: 14, As More Than Just a Number

The whole suite of poems is amazing and heart-wrenching and insightful, but I’ve chosen one of my favourites to reproduce here.

For Nathalie Croteau, 23
When he spat:
“feminists,”
like a dirty taste
from his mouth
you were the only one who said ‘no’
You said, “We aren’t.
Not the kind who protest
in the streets.”
Probably your last words
Probably not quite true
Not the kind who protest in the streets
But in the classroom.
The kind who would challenge,
the kind who would speak up;
try to save thirteen women
and herself
when everyone else
had lost their words.
Brave Nathalie
in coffin #8.