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It Was the First Concert for Some of the Victims

Remember the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017? Earlier that month, a friend and I had been discussing taking our kids to a rock concert when school let out for the summer—but were they old enough? What band should it be? We couldn't decide.

Some of the news articles about this tragedy mentioned it was the first concert for the some of the young victims.

This poem is only published here.

crowd at a concert
Photo by Sung Jin Cho on Unsplash

It Was the First Concert for Some of the Victims

for my son

I tell my friend that Queen could be your first.

Mine was Rush—no adult supervision

and heedless of what could have happened.

Similar talks were held in Manchester kitchens.

This morning I slice strawberries

because I can still give you something.

You leave for the last Mass of 6th grade

and whisper, Remember I’ll always appreciate you.

We separate in secret these days, but I’ll take it;

other moms now rewind last sentences.

Bush said buy things, Facebook says don’t stop living,

U2 says don’t let the bastards grind you down.

I didn’t save ticket stubs, but I keep scenes:

Wendy always next to me at Elton John.

Grande says she has no words. The Queen of England

stopped by to see those girls, so I bet we’d get Pope Francis.

My friend says choose someone timeless. It is easy

to convince myself there are no good bands left.

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