Pull and release to update

Something is broken

when you hear

that it happened again

and you don’t even stop

to mourn.

How many this time?


500 wounded.

Your husband delivers

in clipped tones

over bowls of cereal and milk

and our daughters hum as they eat breakfast:


After Columbine

I wept over the newspaper

my father and I,

my grade-school heart,

tender and disbelieving,


the page.

Virginia Tech happened at work,

Sandy Hook when my body was full with our first daughter.

Charleston the sweaty summer, sorrowful shame.

Pulse and bodies stilled in the quick of life.

Pull down to refresh the feed.

Too much to process head-on.

It creeps in through the cracks.

The mind wanders:

What would I have done

what could I have done

if my husband

if my daughters

were swaying to the music,

praying with the shooter

Picking up groceries:

How long was there to hide

Salting the beans for dinner:

When will it happen again

Waking in the night,

the neighbor’s dog barking

the motion sensor light tripped by a sneaking cat:

We are so fragile

We stretch and bend

Our bodies, they break

Our fingers, they scroll

And scroll

And scroll

And scroll

For the next one.

(by Keeley & Jason Bruner)