For the students:
Cool spring night in April. Red bud blooms just starting to soften, School nearly over— We wanted to say good bye.
A dozen gathered for fire and ghosts (We were too old for Ghost stories– We mostly laughed at them.) But huddled closer before the end of school We wanted to say good bye.
Nearly full moon peaked gold on the horizon, watching us, laughed at us a bit, hid back in the clouds then showed its silver side. Showed up in our ghost stories–the hide and seek moon. We just wanted to say good bye.
Twelve, a dozen motley crew on a Saturday night, asking if it was time to go home, but no one wanted to leave the flames gold, flickering, magical like the moon’s silver— They held us in place. The talking stopped, But we were saying good bye.
I slipped away, knowing Mom needed me– I didn’t want to disturb them, my suddenly silent but free and sweet silver and gold friends. Flames calling me back but Mom needed me. I didn’t get to say good bye.
I heard it, the explosion. Ran back but I was too late. Faces, arms, hands just gone. Explosion then sirens and crying, sobbing and smells and screams
I didn’t say good bye.
For the students and their families, a made up story but the sentiment is sincere. I am so sorry for your pain, so young, so tragic. I keep thinking about how the young one’s lives, and the lives of their families, friends, school community, are changed utterly. I wish them well, wish they healing, but know such trauma, such injuries have long lasting effects. So I wrote a poem for them, a silly gesture, because I don’t know them, I won’t ever know them, but I can imagine being young in the night, right before the end of a school year….in the nearly full moon light, with the flickering fire before you…a night of silver and gold and them tragedy.