NEWTOWN.

DECEMBER 14, 2012.

Last night Mom heard,
“I don’t like the green stuff” and got mad.
Dad half-listened to a story about an art project
While poring through email on his phone —
Looking for stock updates
And watching SportsCenter.

Angry voices scolded
And bottoms were smacked because:
He forgot to brush his teeth; 
She argued when it was time to go to bed.

Lights out.
Prayers.
Just one more drink of water.
Just one more hug.
“Just one more story, Mommy… 
Now, will you tell Dad to come tuck me in?”

Just one more sleep.

They woke in a hurry.
Tired babies got dressed while searching for:
Socks, shoes, backpacks, hair bows.
The Elf on a Shelf.

They ate cereal or pancakes or granola bars.
Parents prepared for the urgency of career,
Grocery shopping and weekend activities.

Kids were pushed out the door,
To the bus stop
Or dropped off with a wink and a kiss – or not –
And then they were told to:
“Hurry up! You’ll be late! 
I’ll see you tonight.”

But there will be no more tonights.
No more green stuff or “go to beds.”
No more bedtime prayers.
No more stories.
No tuck-ins.

There will be no more handprint Christmas trees
Or marshmallow snowmen.

The presents that were placed under the tree
Just a few days ago
Will remain.
Unopened.

There will be no more Santa Claus.

Christmas parties will become wakes,
Funerals and the laying to rest
Of these children 
Who now belong to each of us.

Babies born 
Only to die.

Where is God in this? 
Where is His mercy, love and grace?

I can’t help but to think about His child today.
Another beautiful, blameless baby 
Born to die.

Our minds cannot comprehend.
Our prayers do not make sense.
Our hearts cannot forgive.

But that’s why He gave us His.

Heavenly Father, pour your sweet Spirit
Into these lives left wondering,
Questioning, breaking and bleeding
Tonight. And forevermore.

Come quickly, Lord.

Newtown.