(a poem for my son)
You cannot promise anyone anything.
I promised my son just last night
I would always be there forever
to protect him,
to keep him always safe,
to make sure nothing bad
would ever happen to him.
I pulled his blankets up around him
and told him what a good boy he was,
and how much his daddy loved him.
O God. You were such a perfect son.
My anger thumps like a shaking fist.
I want to hug you
and fall into the grave with you.
I want to hold you
as you cry in my arms,
as dirt falls on us.
Do not be afraid.
I will keep you safe.
I am here to protect you and keep you safe.
You are a good boy.
Daddy loves you very, very much.
Daddy keeps all his promises.
I know you need to feel love.
All I feel is anger
You are my little warrior.
You were so brave,
in those minutes
while your friends were being shot,
knowing your turn could be coming.
The silence between the gunshots
filled with the rage of angels.
I am sorry I did not keep my promise.
I am sure you were looking for me
to come and save you from dying.
I can picture your eyes.
Those eyes that looked up at me
the day you were born.
I am standing in the backyard
looking at your toys.
All those thing I want to say to you.
I just want us all, you and mom and me.
Gathered around the table again for supper.
I tell myself not to cry.
Lift up your head daddy
do not cry.
Remember the way things were
before I was broken.
Someday I will build a monument to you
So I never forget what blind hate stole from me.
Someday I will come to you my good little boy.
We are all but dust particles and water in sunlight.
Nothing else lies between us now.
Not time. Not space. Nothing, but the thinking.
The soul of my soul is sorry.
I am so sorry you and your classmates died.
I keep writing these sentences wondering
if the words are wilting,
because there is nothing that can be said
under the weight.
I will sit here for a moment longer
I had just come back from Christmas shopping,
when I first heard the news.
I felt guilty and folded in on myself
as I began to understand what happened.
It could have been my boy.
He is such a good boy.
His daddy loves him very, very much.
by Rowen Starr,
December 16, 2012
Note: My son is ok. This work only attempts to describe the indescribable horror being experienced by the parents.