"The vehicle has exploded!"
And the words sped me toward a radio.
My co-workers and I huddled together,
eyes taut on the radio's face.
The announcer's words careened off
in echoing pings of disbelief and pain.
And the shock, like novocaine,
buffered us as further bits of lethal information
began seeping in.
Grief accumulated over the hours,
Like a too trite script,
the scene unfolded on the screen
but we could not walk out on the ending.
Yesterday I cried
as I watched her parents replay their mutual bewilderment;
as they added a hopeless question mark to those words,
"The vehicle has exploded."
Today I wept in sorrow
as I imagined the family s unrelenting anguish.
And I am angry that routine had quelled my anxieties about such flight;
that the departure from routine in choosing her
had made me excited about this flight.
She was the woman, mother, teacher
that I might have become but hadn't.
In the interviews she walked with MY spirit, MY guts
and now I watched her walk, grinning,
to her death.
And the world watched as she and six
exploded in a flaring, burning, ironically beautiful incandescence;
a slow-moving dance into oblivion,
with the choreography obscenely repeated
over and over and over again.
With Kennedy we lost a father,
with her a mother.
And the children of today who did not live
through that chilling November remembrance
can now claim their share of hot world-grief,
of that assassination on the senses of all,
that allows them, too, to say,
"I was ... here ... when it happened."
Good disappeared in this tragedy,
but maybe, this time,
for good reason.
We, the earthbound, dreamed through
as they, so much more than we,
were able to become their own dreams.
We, the living, died with them,
as they, just as vulnerable as we,
could not complete their journey