(Note: I wrote this fictional prose poem after the devastating fire and explosion nearby that hurt more than a dozen teens in late April.)
I didn’t Say Goodbye
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 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 get to say good bye.