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  • Carol Everett Adams

USA After Newtown, Connecticut

"A poem cannot stop a bullet. A novel can't defuse a bomb. But we are not helpless. We can sing the truth and name the liars." Salman Rushdie, May 2022

This poem is only published here.

Four random children with focus on their winter clothes and galoshes
Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

USA After Newtown, Connecticut

Photo in the newspaper

finally broke through to me—

little girl with the same hat

I’d just bought my 1st grader

at Target. Brown and pink fleece.

Was she wearing it that day?

I had to throw ours out, always thinking

of it that way. Blood on our hands

as we shop at Target. Shopping connects us

closer than the souls of our children.

I think too often of every little

piece of clothing they wore, so many I don’t

know anymore, the number. But their little jeans,

shoes from JCPenney, mass-produced

t-shirts. For every piece they put on their last day,

from the dryer or snatched from a hamper,

for each hat, someone else is a copy,

going on like nothing happened.


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