Ed. Note: Another in our series of poems from poets who participated in Arlington Writers Resist on January 15, 2017
—for the parents of the children at Sandy Hook
Notice what you remember this day:
how clean the air smells,
how warm it is for winter,
how you hoped it would be snowing.
Notice how bare the trees are,
black birds perched
in the empty branches,
cracked ice on a puddle.
Notice lips, hair, skin,
the place in the sky
you saw the first star
last night and closed your eyes,
from habit, wishing, wishing, wishing.
Notice what you won’t remember:
how quiet it was the moment
after the gunshots,
that the screaming
sounded like coyotes in the desert.
Notice blur of smoke,
river of blood,
skin stuck to walls, missing faces.
Notice your question:
why must a coffin
hold a child,
why not rocks, mud,
burnt wind, even water?
Notice there is no waking from this dream,
the sky will always be this dark.
the only living will be living
on the edge of a black hole.
Notice a million stars exploding daily.
Susan Bucci Mockler has had her poetry published in Poet Lore, The Cortland Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Voices in Italian Americana, and the anthology, My Cruel Invention, among others. Her chapbook, Noisy Souls, was published by Finishing Line Press. She is a poet in the Arlington County school system and teaches writing and literature at a local university. She lives in Arlington, Va.
Image: By Johann Heinrich Ramberg – Own work, User:Mattes, 2014-08-24 11:30:52, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34966174