Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Light Over a Broken Day

by Jennie Linthorst

I drop my son off before dawn
for a school canoeing trip.

Driving away in a distracted fog
of trivial maternal anxieties,

I reach for the radio to hear
news of the Las Vegas shooting.

A call comes that a mother from our school
has been shot down next to the concert stage.

I want to reach out to my son,
the distance suddenly untenable.

I turn at a stoplight,
and feel my mother come to me.

Over thirty years gone,
she must know how to comfort the newly passed,

how to hold a light over a broken day,
and cross over to me–

Tell me mom, something sage,
so I can breathe again.

But, she’s not here,
none of them are here now.

My God, their shirts still hang in a closet,
shoes by the door.

When my son comes home,
I will listen to his stories told from under the stars.

I will ask him how the moon spoke
to the river after that bloody night.

* * * * *

Jennie Linthorst is published in Foliate Oak, Forge, Kaleidoscope, Literary Mama, Mothers Always Write, Sanskrit, and The Art of Autism. Her two books of poems, Silver Girl (2013), and Autism Disrupted: A Mother's Journey of Hope (2011), were published by Cardinal House. Jennie is certified in poetry therapy from the National Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy.

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