Mary Anne Mohanraj poem: Four Days After the Shooting

Four Days After the Shooting
By Mary Anne Mohanraj
I dropped off my son at preschool yesterday,
drove by a school playground, the children
lining up in messy rows. I started to cry,
again. Wiped my tears and went on to shop
for holiday gifts, spending more, perhaps,
on our children than I’d planned.

They are small for such a short time.

I managed to forget for most of the day,
surrounded by toy shopping carts,
stuffed animals, bright and cheerful colors.
I bought Legos, a broom, a knitting kit,
ages four and up. I will lie on the floor
after Christmas Day, building a pink house
with my daughter. I will try to teach her
how to knit. I will watch my son sweep
with his child-size broom, and I can
already see the pleasure in his face.

I will forget the children of Sandy Hook
in my children’s present joy and
future plans. When I remember, I will
demand more hugs and kisses, clutch
them tightly to my chest, struck
by grief and guilt.

I want to remember.
I want to forget.


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