On December 14, 2012, at 9:30 in the morning, a 20-year-old man forced his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, shot and killed six teachers, then entered two first-grade classrooms and began hooting the children. He killed 20, then turned the gun on himself.
I see a child¹s face turned up
distracted from the finger-painting
she had just begun,
her eyes wide in fear and wonder
as a flash of light engulfs her
and throws her back upon the floor.
I see her lying there
her eyes still wide in wonder,
red and blue paint upon her fingers,
the fingers which will paint no more.
OneŠ TwoŠ ThreeŠ FourŠ
Twenty-six times they tolled the bell,
Twenty-six times the clanging rose
Like anguished cries from the throat of the town
And fell like hammerblows to the heart of the nation…
Five$ Six$ Seven$ Eight$
Dirgeful sounds but only sounds
Swallowed by the air and quickly gone
While the pain and grief in the town live on.
We wait and wonder will the tolling commence,
Will the toll of victims continue to mount
And the mourning nation begins a new count…
One$ Two$ Three$ Four$
Photo: Portraits of slain students and teachers hang from a tree at a memorial in Newtown, Conn. Dec. 25, 2012. Craig Ruttle/AP