newtown

it is one thing to be at work digesting the news that twenty children were gunned down in cold blood.
twenty babies in a warm classroom, twenty lunchboxes in twenty cubbyholes, twenty cots for naptime.
twenty coats hung up, twenty names taped onto tiny desks, twenty bodies that won’t go home again.

it is one thing to hear and read all this news and shake my head, and say a prayer, and read and watch and work and e-mail.

but then i go home where the lights are off and no one is going to pull me into a meeting or ask for a favor,

and i get in the bed, where it’s dark and my nephews face glows back at me from the desktop of my computer,

and the enormity of today slams into me, the grief curls up and toward me like a burning paper, til it has rolled over itself.