These beautiful lives, this careless fire

The black and blurry headlines ache as ink bleeds over our eyes and ears. The latest headlines of injustice and tragedy offer little to grieving parents, family, and friends; but the stir from those printed or spoken words gather a memorial and speak for the silenced. These stories of innocent loss of life remind me that we are human. And as adults we were all once children.

When the headlines ache with the echos of gun shots, children lying still on the other end, I think of mothers and fathers that bleed from those dark holes, those empty black notes where a child once sang. Last week I heard gun shots far away in the deserts of Afghanistan; I heard gun shots silence the early morning in France, I heard gun shots in Florida, just south of my own children’s smiles. That pain both near and far sounded like life knotted up in a slow thin stitch, death’s ragged thread piercing the soft souls of children. In my dreams, in my belly, I have paused, holding on to the bright gleam of my own child, in disbelief, in grief, in outrage at another mother’s pain.

When fire stills the breath of a child, their butterfly wings crumble and tear. Where is the sun that reflects the colorful stains in those delicate wings? Where are the petals that give those wings rest, time to sway back and forth, to breathe just a tiny piece of this beautiful life? Where are the tears that drown out the blast of firearms used carelessly to wipe away life from once smiling faces? When can we instead silence the fire, and celebrate, honor those innocent beautiful wings in flight?

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Categories: Parenting, Reflection

5 Comments on “These beautiful lives, this careless fire”

  1. August 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on life and write and commented:

    I originally penned this post in March of 2012. I would like to think that over two years later, these words would have less relevance, less pain, less immediacy. I suppose these words knew better – waited for me to remember, reflect, read them again.

    And it seems no matter how much time turns, the fire still shines in all of our eyes. We can close our lids and pretend not to here the click and pop, but we would be kidding ourselves. The smoke from the barrel, the smell of lifelessness, even from a distance, appears endless or at least the headlines, wail, and tears seem to write, cry themselves restless and closer still.

  2. March 20, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Really nice write! For those in the military as well as these “crazy” streets! They call the homicide rate here in Philly … “More bodies than days”! Meaning the killing rates surpass the number of days into the new year! Smh! Great write!

    • March 20, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Thanks Mr. Watson. We happen to be a military family (my husband is an officer with 20 years in), but our hearts ache when we hear about people acting on their impulses and destroying lives locally and all over the world. As the mother of three boys, I just want to hold them close and pray for their safety…the streets don’t love you do they? Thanks for the comments and for the support!

      • March 20, 2012 at 11:53 am #

        No problem! No they dont love u! I’m a Phila Police officer! So I see it first hand! And I have 2 boys one girl! So I have a wholeeee different set of problems ahead of me lol ! Appreciate ur work !

      • March 20, 2012 at 11:56 am #

        Oh wow…so you’ve seen it all and then some… I appreciate your support for my writing and thank you for your service on the force. Keep it up dad, as parents, we do have more work to do!

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