Newtown

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Images dropping before my mind’s eye like slides:

lockdown drills suddenly in sharp focus,

children huddling with their backs against the wall, invisible to an intruder,

teachers shushing them

and hoping they’d manage in a real emergency.

Now there are real pictures.

Children who will now always feel sick at the sound of a loud bang,

who will always remember that there was blood in those classrooms.

The terror and devastation on their faces makes me cry,

makes my insides tremble.

Guns did this.

Guns took a whole town and bereaved it of its children,

because even the families whose children are alive

will never be whole in the same way.

Oh.

Those parents.

The very worst of worst fears,

the nightmare that won’t stop –

it’s all now real.

Their children were stolen.

Not just death, not just loss,

but Horror

greater than my mind can grasp.

How do you ever function again?

How do you eat, do laundry, buy groceries, put gas in the car, take a shower?

How do you sleep, ever again?

I can’t stop thinking of the Christmas presents.

Joyfully bought, lovingly made…

And now just pain.

I think of bunk beds with one empty,

one child to kiss goodnight where there were two.

How do you even begin to find the possibility of the first tiny step

toward healing?

Does it help, just a tiny whisper of solace,

when a whole town can grieve together?

It is a whole new town, after all.

Does it help that all of us,

parent or not,

bereaved or not,

are fervently, heartbrokenly

sending them our love?

***


 

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9 thoughts on “Newtown

  1. Amanda says:

    The gifts… I too keep thinking about the gifts. Wrapped under the tree and carefully hidden Santa gifts, probably in the parents closet. How will they cope now, next week, Christmas morning… I can’t let myself imagine it. Even imagining it is too horrific.

  2. Mama says:

    “Does it help that all of us,

    parent or not,

    bereaved or not,

    are fervently, heartbrokenly

    sending them our love?”

    I hope so. It’s all we can do.

  3. Beth Lopez says:

    I watched this afternoon, for hours. Everyone was talking about the parents, and my heart aches for them. But I was thinking of the teachers. I was thinking of Lock Down drills that we ran in our school last year. I was thinking of all those teachers, terrified, not for their own lives but for the lives of the children they wanted to protect. I am thinking about the nightmares those teachers will be dealing with for years. My prayers are also with them tonight.

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Me too, Beth. It’s the kind of experience you try to imagine when you’re doing a drill, but really can’t fathom. I honestly don’t think I could continue teaching after a terrifying tragedy like that.

  4. Beverley says:

    My heart breaks for the parents. I too cannot let my mind go there for very long….it is just too unimaginable on many levels….as a parent, grandparent, teacher.

  5. Cat says:

    Beautiful poem. A quiet little gift from the aftermath of a horrific experience. That whole town needs the energy of our positive thoughts, hopes, and blessings.

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