Saturday, December 15, 2012

Musings on Sandy Hook

On Friday, 20 children and 6 adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut. I keep trying to make sense of it - but there can be no sense to such a tragedy.

How could anyone snuff out so many lives, so many innocent children?

And what are those parents going to do? What will they do with the Christmas presents they've been hiding, the stockings that won't need to be hung, the vacant place at the table, the empty car seat?

* * * * *

I don't want to ever forget.

Friday, December 14, 2012.
20 children and 6 adults, dead.

6- and 7-year old children:
Benjamin, Caroline,
Catherine, Charlotte, Chase
Daniel, Dylan, Emilie, Grace
Jack, James, Jesse,
Jessica, Josephine,
Madeleine, Noah,

The adults who tried to protect them:.
Anne Marie, Dawn,
Lauren, Mary,
Rachel, Victoria. 

* * * * * 

Friday afternoon, I took Bonnie for a walk, carrying my camera. It was a clear day, the sky brilliant blue. I thought I would look for something beautiful, to balance the day's tragedy.

This is what caught my eye - a tree, leafless and stark, with a child's baseball and football caught in its branches.

Childhood games, interrupted

* * * * *

This image has been circulating on Facebook, a reminder that the victims of Friday's violence are safe now.

"Security," by David Bowman

* * * * *

As I learned of the deaths at Sandy Hook, this poem came again to my mind. The first time I heard it, I recognized the grief of a parent whose child has died at birth. Now, it seems equally appropriate as I ponder the future for the bereft parents of Newtown. 
by Dana Gioia

Now you'd be three,
I said to myself,
seeing a child born
the same summer as you.

Now you'd be six,
or seven, or ten.
I watched you grow
in foreign bodies.

Leaping into a pool, all laughter,
or frowning over a keyboard,
but mostly just standing,
taller each time.

How splendid your most
mundane action seemed
in these joyful proxies.
I often held back tears.

Now you are twenty-one.
Finally, it makes sense
that you have moved away
into your own afterlife. 
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