WHY Can’t We Stop This ????


A Dark and Cold Sunshiny Day

He picked out his own clothes that morning
wore his favorite yellow shirt with the red stripes
his little-boy jeans
despite his protests
the red jacket

He looked up briefly
from his morning cereal
and grinned
as his dad
leaving to go to work
tousled his hair
See you later, Dad

His mom drove him to school
walked him to the door
Please don’t hug me here, Mommy,
not in front of the other kids
So they blew kisses instead

Sunshine brightened the trees
almost bare now of their leaves
On her way home
she contemplated how
at age six
he was already growing up
shedding his baby ideas
insisting on independence

She hummed about the house
pondered what he was doing at school
wondered if he’d like his lunch
She pictured his sweet smile
the unruly hair
that he always pushed out of his eyes

And then the phone rang
and the world turned upside down
A gunman
someone said

She screamed
half blinded by terror and tears
somehow got herself to the school

His dad came from work
their shaking bodies entwined as they waited
They stood beside other parents
close and yet alone
a scent of fear permeating the air
agony at the excruciating not-knowing

Until finally
in one long horrible moment
they knew

They railed
and they sobbed
and the giant enveloping cloud of anguish
did not go away

Back at home
the house rings with the emptiness
left by one small boy
the light in his sparkling eyes forever dimmed
echoes of his laughter intense in its absence

No way exists to make it all right
No peace embeds itself in their hearts
After the ceremony fades away
and grieving friends have gone
one fact lives unendingly in their souls

Their little son will never come home

Even a bright sunshiny day
Can be dark and cold

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