Mourning After

The country I now call home is bleeding
a senseless and panicked red,
diluting its pain in the silence
of normal morning routines.
I still make my love the coffee
I promised before we'd risen and seen the news,
before we'd thought of the inevitability
of children at fireworks,
and how this the attacker knew.
She looks so beautiful, 
eyes heavy and glistening with unspilt tears. 
Neither of us knowing how to use words, 
how to understand the reality of atrocity. 
Beyond the consolations of world leaders, 
beyond social media reactions, 
beyond the spin this will be used for, 
beyond the excuses and explanations,  
beyond the claims of responsibility and repeating backlash, 
beyond the reports and crafted articles, 
beyond the frames of the chosen photographs. 
The truth is shards of lacerating glass. 
It is a blood-stained truck and pieces of people. 
It is a child's excitement dashed against terror 
and extinguished by brutal impact. 
It is eighty-four funerals  
and countless grieving loved ones. 
It is a city's celebrations torn a sunder, 
a nation's memory graffitied with new pain, 
a continent reeling in confusion  
searching for solid hand-holds and soft pillows, 
and an entire world of individual minds 
needing to know the Word made flesh. 


Isaiah 53:2-4

This is my initial reaction to the attacks in Nice yesterday on Bastille Day 2016.


  1. Followed your Dad's link on Facebook and read this poem, then some of the others. Thank you so much. Very powerful and thought-provoking.


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