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Nohemi, may your spirit soar

November 15, 2015

Yesterday morning,
I watched Cedric Diggory’s father
mourn his son’s murder in a purely fictional tale

“This is much harder to watch
as a parent,” I told my husband,
as I folded laundry
with tears streaming
down my cheeks

(I thought how
J.K. Rowling heard
such screams of grief
in real life; that is not fiction)

This morning,
when I drive past
Long Beach State University
to gather my week’s groceries,
I will be thinking of Nohemi Gonzalez,
who will never again
set foot on that
(nor any other)

And of her parents,
her family, her friends,
who will never see her graduate

And all the parents everywhere–
in all cities, in all states, in all nations–
who will never see their children grow old,
nor marvel in all the joys and small sadnesses
of their getting to grow up at all

I will be wishing
(as I am now, in darkness,
listening to sweet, snore-shaped
sounds of life from the bedrooms)
that I could hug them all–
those lost, those left–
and somehow make
a different ending

And I will hope,
for Nohemi, for everyone,
that all those left to bear witness
in the wake of human wrought suffering
understand that as we all
breathe and bleed and
sleep and cry and
sing and laugh,
we are more
same than

And that this knowledge
will inspire us not to retreat
further into the safety of just-mine,
but instead to reach out and,
hands-hearts interwoven,
to expand the safety
of, in, to each other

I wish you could have grown
into the decades ahead.
May your spirit
soar further,
and brighter,
by far, than
human eyes
might ever see

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