Ashes before the Rising

Words mean nothing now.
Loss of these innocents, even Lowell could not imagine*
In the two thousand and twelfth year of grace
When twenty babies left this plain
Despite the selfless sacrifices of their protectors,
Love of their parents, teachers, God,
Words bring no comfort, no solitude,
No explanation worth believing

And the caring mourn, and the injured
Turn away—unable to cope with what
They have known existed all along
And no one believes that good can come from this
Perhaps a good cry, a wailing at the wall,
A heart broken by the bitter bullets
Of a Broken Boy bent on breaking
Heart after heart after heart.

Even leaders of the great nations
Can only repeat that which we all
Want to know, to remember:
“Dawn Hocksprung and Mary Sherlach,
Vicki Soto, Lauren Russeau,
Rachel Davino and Anne Marie Murphy;
….Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine,
Ana, Dylan, Madeline, Catherine, Chase,
Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah,
Caroline, Jessica, Benjamin,
Avielle, Allison, God has called them all home.”~

And now the words begin to swirl
The great life-breathers
That restore our memories,
Recall our very loves, their very lives
Make it sweet to think of them still
And light up our lives forever.DSCN2513

*Poet Robert Lowell writes in his poem “The Holy Innocents”:

The world out-Herods Herod; and the year / The nineteen-hundred forty-fifth of grace, / Lumbers with losses up the clinkered hill / Of our purgation; and the oxen near / The worn foundations of their resting-place, / The holy manger where their bed is corn / And holly torn for Christmas. If they die, / As Jesus, in the harness, who will mourn? / Lamb of the shepherds, Child, how still you lie.

~President Obama’s speech at prayer vigil for Newtown shooting victims, Dec. 16, 2012


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