Parkland, Florida, 02/14/18

 

 

Parkland, Florida
February 14, 2018

 

You promised me a daughter
with squeals of joy in the hall,
over this, over that, over nothing.
She came home and I would
shut the door behind her,
speaking my spells to the lock
that it admit no demon,
no bad dream, that the powers of night
amass to keep her safe.

You promised me a daughter
to race over the green fields
with her hair in the wind
and her lips open to the wind
and the long legs of her
marrying the horses and the chariots
of the wind. And it
would lift her, the sweet west wind,
when nobody was looking.

I might have asked for ease,
but you gave me something hard:
a daughter in her curved and hidden ways.
She clasped my finger on her first day.
She wept against my collarbone.
The little gods came and asked me
“What do you lack” and I said “Nothing.”
The great gods came and said
“What would you?” I said
“I would keep this close forever.”

There was a place where I had not
spoken the words the gods gave me.
There they shot her. They murdered
my daughter with her playmates.
They killed her with the awkward boys
who stood on the front porch
hoping for a kiss. I heard their cry.
I could not reach them. When I cry
back I will not at first be heard.

But it will open out there like a flower,
toss the ringed planets from their courses,
drop the moons. I will not hear it.
I will not see it, my hands before me
groping into agony’s next room.
I think I don’t want anyone to sleep tonight.
I think I want you watching wide-eyed
with your blankets up against your chins.
See my daughter pass by
in the grieving moonlight, see their sons.

2 thoughts on “Parkland, Florida, 02/14/18

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