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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

When Grown-Ups Cry

In light of what happened the Sunday before last in Orlando, the blog post I had been working on seemed trite and uninspired. While social media shimmers in rainbows and heated conversations about gun control continue to evolve into rants about constitutional rights, I am finding it difficult to express my thoughts about this latest, heinous act of violence.

The following poem appears in my New York Reader (Sleeping Bear Press, 2008). Originally submitted as September Lullaby and written to soothe a child in times of sorrow, I should perhaps have given it a less restrictive title to be shared with a less restrictive audience.


Where are the stars on this dark, dark night?
Where is their tiny twinkling light?
Where is the music?
Where is the song?
Where are the colors?
Something is wrong.

Sometimes stars hide in the clouds,
and their light seems far away.
Sometimes voices are hushed and still
and the rainbow fades to gray.

Sometimes the world is topsy-turvy.
and nobody really knows why;
sometimes sad things happen
and even grown-ups cry.

But always, my child, always,
you are safe here in my arms.
The world may be topsy-turvy,
but I will shelter you from harm.

Always the stars are twinkling,
even when clouds hide their light;
I promise you voices will sing again,
and colors will again shine bright.

I promise there is always tomorrow
for starlight and rainbows and song—
my love will always surround you,
unchanged, unbroken and strong.