The bell rings and doors to classrooms close;
The clock, tick tocking, already reached half-past.
Hands held across tiny hearts and allegiance pledged
To a billowing flag; by day’s end it would fly half-mast.
Gingerbread men smile wide from classroom walls.
Reminding good behavior would be rewarded soon,
On a night that all awaited with joyful hearts,
but would not come for some; revealed by afternoon.
I didn’t know you, no, not one, and yet
My heart hurts deeply that you’ve gone away
Your parents, teachers, family, and friends
Just wish you’d lived to see another day.
Another day to play and hug and kiss;
Another day to now just mourn and miss.
In Memory of the Sandy Hook children and teachers
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse
From The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
If you are unfamiliar with the story of The Velveteen Rabbit, it has many levels of interpretation. For children it is a story about a young boy who gets scarlet fever and all of his belongings must be discarded, including his toys. One of which is a velveteen rabbit that comes to life in the nursery at night, along with the other toys.
One of those toys is a rocking horse, so old that it has no hair but skin. The rabbit wants to become real because he has seen real rabbits playing outside. He asks the old “skin horse” what it takes to become real, and the horse tells him he must be loved. He then asks the horse if becoming real hurts, the horse replies “sometimes.”
For an adult, at least for me anyway, the story is about loss, it is about death and the prospect of an afterlife.
Does being real hurt? Sometimes, like on Friday December 14th 2012.
Does dying hurt? Sometimes.