Friday, December 14, 2012

Heart String

I didn't take the boys to school today
because I went in at 5am 
and James was with his dad.

I went to work 
and I made plans for picking them up,
for stopping for dinner,
for an early Christmas with my sister tomorrow.

I made plans I always make
for a tomorrow 
I always believe is guaranteed.


28 people died.

Initial reports say 20 children.



I sit here at this computer trying to translate pain 
into pixels 
into words 
on this screen.

A feeble attempt to share my prayers
and my sadness,
my disbelief 
and my horror.

Overwhelming grief
over the sheer barbarity of it.

I don't remember 
how I felt about Columbine.

I was in high school in California 
and that happened in a high school in Colorado
and I just didn't connect.

When Virginia Tech
slashed through the headlines
I was in college,
and up until graduation day 
I'd jump if a door unexpectedly swung open 
while I was sitting in class.

But today...

today was different.

Today was different because 
I am not just a human with a heart,
I am a mother.

I am a mother
who drops off her school-age children
believing they are safe
and that I will see them 
in the afternoon.

I am a mother 
who cannot fathom the unbearable pain
of losing my child in any manner.

I am a mother
whose stomach churns
at the thought of these families
and what they must be trying to process.

Something happens when you become a mother.

It's as though your heart grows arm and legs 
and wanders off into the world unprotected,
becoming an achilles heel.

And you tie yourself up to every child 
and every mother,
and their pain becomes yours.

Because that could be you,
because that could be your child.

Dear Newton, CT,

May your terror and sadness be met with love and light,
may peace and comfort find you,
and may joy reach you again some day.


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