Given the 24/7 news coverage, there has been much said about the tragic events that occurred last Saturday. On a completely normal morning, errands to be run, groceries to be bought, the trivia of everyone's life that all seems to converge on Saturdays, life changed horribly and forever for many people here in Arizona; not only those who were killed or critically injured, but the hundreds of people who either witnessed the terrible scene or are friends and family of those who were struck down. And then there are many like me, who knew none of those people but feel as though I have suffered a loss. Melancholy and sadness seems pervasive, a heaviness of spirit...so many lives, young and old, ended uselessly.
This poem grew out of these feelings.
There are so many ways for a heart to break,
so many ways for flesh to tear from bone.
Winter, so bare and starved for light
sweeps the plain and open field as if warmth
were the enemy, and laughs at loss and pain.
I build a bonfire of memories, my dreams
the kindling that throws shadows on the wall
and falls like ashes on the hearth, no longer able
to hold my portion of hope, a scant serving
of privilege I dare not assume.
Bare branches brush the darkened panes
and remind me to gather twigs of sustenance
as armor against wild things that would steal
fervor, dull vision and leave me neither failure
nor triumph, but sad and hollow days.
Then, as in the familiar silent wreckage of history,
I turn to denial to ignite the spark, the flicker
that draws me limb by limb from my shelter
to emerge in the optimism of spring’s first light,
winter’s wounds veiled with a soft apology.