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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 me—

little girl with the same hat

I’d just bought my own 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 the mall. Shopping holds us

closer than a drop-off hug.

I think too often of every little

piece of clothing they wore. So many I don’t

know the number anymore. But their tiny Levi’s,

boots from JCPenney, Old Navy sweaters—

for every warm thing they threw on that morning

snatched from a dryer or hamper,

for each hat, someone else is a copy,

going on like nothing happened.

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