As We Wait to Learn Their Names


This grief too large, beyond the bounds of reason,

it stops the heart, for parents left bereft,

for children lost before their fairest season;

it stops the heart and steals the taken breath.

I did not know a one – not name or face;

they lived a thousand weary miles away,

but with my country joined in frenzied space,

I fight back tears and rage against this day.

Earthquake, tornado, accident and fire,

or act of God, disease and pestilence;

each bitterly unfair, but here’s the pyre

where burns the darkest fear, the precipice…

The fear that leaves us battered, broken, bent:

This tragedy, this one, we could prevent.