4.16.2013

Patriot's Day

Left them for dead,
Pressure-cooked at the finish line;
Left them for dead,
As Paul Revere mem’rably said--
They’re coming! It’s by their design!
Count your dead. Your broken. This time--
Left them for dead.

This is for my little day 16 of NaPoWriMo form challenge at Real Toads: I Say Roundel, You Say Rondelet. 

Friends, I'm always anxious when writing about topics of horror and loss in the news. At the same time, it usually feels very wrong not to. Many of you know that I live in Massachusetts; we are about 1.5 hours from Boston, and were not in Boston yesterday. But we certainly feel the impact of this tragedy here. To me, Patriot's Day is such a joyous, charming, quintessential Massachusetts thing, just beautiful. Yesterday, well--you know. I couldn't get the phrase "left for dead" or the picture of the young boy (the same age as my own kids) who was killed out of my head, so I wrote this. It's certainly not intended to be any kind of summary of or instruction for how to feel or react to or think about tragic and unnecessary violence. It is just a small comment. Thank you for reading.

21 comments:

  1. I've been sitting at my computer all morning attempting a poem expressing my horror at what happened in Boston ~ it's no longer necessary, your words say it all.

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  2. Poets have an onerous task of being a voice of their times. It would seem unfeeling not to address such an issue on such a day.

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  3. And it also helps to place it on paper, so to speak.
    It doesn't bear thinking about, so we put it down in words.
    If we can.

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  4. We poets write about the unthinkable because we must. It is passion or curse depending on the viewpoint. You have expressed the horror vividly.

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  5. The events yesterday were, indeed, chilling. Glad you are OK.

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  6. So hard to write about these things without sounding preachy or remote--fine job here of immediacy and horror, staccato and jerky works just right, nailing the sense of unease and misery such senseless acts evoke. Thoughts are with you all up there.

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  7. I didn't read any of the excellent poems written to your prompt until I had finished mine but I feel supported in yours in this struggle to understand. It was always such a big day for us growing up. My father was a firefighter in Boston for 35 years and volunteered at the marathon when he wasn't working. It's been such a part of my life.

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  8. And the phrase left for dead certainly plays on the minds of us all...

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  9. I think this simply says it as it is. Heartless, these terrorists - small children should never be victims. Such a wonderful event, celebrating amazing achievement... and the horror is it will happen again, somewhere else...

    I liked your poem very much. It is bitter, dry, sad, compassionate...

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  10. I'm glad you did, Marian...brevity and heart displayed fluidly...great form for this with the refrain very affecting.

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  11. I'm so glad you and your family are safe. Your words, as always, zero in on the heart of a complicated emotion.

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  12. left them for dead...as dead...very well put!

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  13. Yes, I'm glad you did too, I still haven't been able to. Peace.

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  14. now it's Wednesday
    still sighing.

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  15. Very well constructed.

    Writing the truth may hopefully stop it from happening again.

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    Replies
    1. i hold no such illusions. but thanks for your comment. :)

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  16. I read this last night, after I finally posted mine, and it made me cry. Earlier, I had said to my husband, "But why a little boy?" without, of course, expecting an answer. There are no answers to such tragedies. The crowds for the Boston Marathon. The irony of Patriots' Day. The mind boggles.
    Thanks for being brave enough to write this, Marian. I'm sure the horror was on everyone's mind as we wrote roundels and rondolets.
    K

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    1. sigh, for the tears.
      i just read this morning about a newly-married couple, both of whom lost legs in the blast. for crying out loud!

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  17. thank you for sharing. the whole thing is just so terribly sad.

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    Replies
    1. yep, all-around awful. thank you for reading, dear one!

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