To all those devastated by the senseless tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, words cannot convey our sorrow. We offer our heartfelt condolences, with the acute knowledge that our words are woefully inadequate, even presumptuous. How can we begin to imagine our words of sympathy could, in any way, ease your pain?
Words are all we have, as new vocabulary infiltrates our common vernacular: social murders, mass shootings, high capacity rounds, clips, and Bushmaster. There is so much more to be said, a national discussion that must begin with hard questions, and painful honesty. And yet, we cannot find the words. We are grateful to the award winning author, Richard Krawiec, for sharing his with us.
by Richard Krawiec
twenty parents dropped off their smiling
scrub-faced children clothed in snowflakes
snowmen and glitter laden with gifts for teachers
secretaries end of semester thanks before break
by 9:40 the classrooms were covered in red
blood sing a jing jing jingling hap hap
holiday shot after shot hammering banging
popping like the corn they were just about to string
too many to count and over the intercom screaming
crying “duck down in the corner” called
one teacher “here in the office” said another
have a holly jolly the children weeping hustled
by teachers to huddle in offices where no one
could find us except the policemen who rushed them
across the parking lot eyes covered to the firehouse
where mothers would arrive to cradle all except
for the twenty whose parents waited a car line vigil
waited to receive the lifeless bodies and paper bag
reindeer puppets antlered with their dead children’s hands
Richard Krawiec is the author of two novels, Time Sharing, published in 1986 by Viking Penguin, and Faith in What?, published by Avisson Press. His poetry, fiction, freature articles and plays appear in commercial and literary publications throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. His widely praised second book of poems, She Hands me the Razor, is available from Press 53. Order here.
He is founder of Jacar Press, a Community Active Press. Part of the proceeds from all sales go to fund community initiatives. Their first publication, The Sound of Poets Cooking, a poetry anthology/cookbook, was a critical and commercial success. For more information visit Jacar Press.
The reading period for DoveTales Literary Journal is officially closed. We would like to thank all of the wonderful artists who submitted their work. We now begin the exciting process of review, culminating in the release of our first issue of DoveTales Literary Journal on New Year’s Day.
The Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest is in full swing, with entries coming in from all over the globe. The contest is open to writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, for ages 13 to 19. Contest deadline is March 1st, 2013. Spread the word to young writers everywhere! You’ll find contest guidelines here.
Copyright © 2012 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.