As the Morning Bell Rang

I wrote this poem in December of 2012 right after the shooting at Newton.


as the morning bell rang

and as you whispered your giggles

and tossed your crayons

and joined smiles with friends--

It waited at the edge.


as your teacher listened to your

stories of tooth fairy visitations

and the indoor soccer game altercations,

and all about your dreams of snowflakes

with mother's kisses still warm upon your checks--

It was circulating.


just as you were once living in a world

as right as rain on your lemon coat, 

as perfect as the new-born blanket that held you 

[the one mommy patched for you]

It was beginning to descend


oh, my little ones, 

we want say to you that 

the world is in forever  light--not dark--

but, there no words

we can give you and your mommy and daddy today,

who are now left with christmas presents -

unopened and unloved--

for this syringe thrust It's poison 

so deep into the once-safe caverned places we knew, 

we are only now left to devour our own hearts--

just for the sake of sustenance,

to swallow--whole--for you.


but, I do know that 

the moment the aggregate of all your little voices

sent it's pain so deep into our universe,

the sound was retrieved and recorded,

because, on this eastern day-after 

of cerulean blue sky scattered 

with wintered bared branches against it's back,

your souls sleep against my lake of grief and 

I re-member you 

singing about Frosty, and Jingle Bells, and Santa…

Tears now come

as cold as snow.


At last, my little friends,

My promise is to you

is that when I hear 

the echo of your the pain 

sent back to me,

I, the teacher, 

who sits with little souls just like you every day, 

will promise to keep the clarity of the 

song you once sang.


I pray, in love and light-

to the ones I never knew

but I will grieve for-

ever - more


K Donovan