in loving memory of those we lost on April 16, 2007. may our Hokies live on forever.
and the feet that once walked the same paths mine do.
back when the sixteenth of april was just monday,
we never had to consider roses or candlelight vigils.
we didn’t have to.
time had not yet fallen from innocence,
still unplucked fruit ripening on the branch
because things like that don’t happen in a place like this
or at least that’s what everyone thought
until the things like that happened on this very ground
which all of a sudden did not feel solid anymore
and the whole world watched that morning
melt into mourning, into itself,
leaving no words behind
in all of that lacking.
the most honest tragedy of this
was not even the sight of blood
but the anxious mother at the other end of the call
waiting on words to make sense of silence.
it is hard enough to watch your child leave
for something like college, I know.
I saw my mother cry when I packed up my room.
but how do you reconcile that hurt
with the hurt of these mothers:
see you Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter
but all of a sudden there were no more days
much less holidays. no coming back home.
how do you learn to set 4 places at the table
instead of 5, how do you memorize the art
of smiling at stories of other people
living out their dreams, knowing full well
that these thirty-two
never got to wake up from theirs?
every day I wake up here
I realize how much that matters.