a free verse poem by Alyssa, who read this poem at the Candlelight Vigil on January 13th, 2016
Dad’s okay, right?
What am I saying? He’ll walk through the door in a minute. I’ll hear the entrance of the key into the lock
and rush to greet him like I always do.
An hour passes, and silence.
Just breathe, he’ll be here in a second. There was just traffic. Don’t think that, he’ll be here, I know it!
Tick… Tock… Tick… Tock…
More time slips through my fingers, my heart pounds and I feel as though my chest may break with the pressure.
It can’t be, I won’t accept it. But the intrusive voice in my head pesters away the denial, until it settles upon me.
How could anybody be so selfish? To tear a family apart? To mutilate the hearts of the inflicted, chewing and spitting out the bitterness? To cause anybody such pain, that the need to die crawls up their throat and chokes them?
I’ve seen men and women panic and scream over the bodies of their own dead children, unable to comprehend they have been torn from this earth before the ability to truly live was presented to them.
And the oppressor takes satisfaction in this raw display of grief. Can you imagine, to smile while pain stricken parents realize they will outlive their children, who never got a chance to live themselves?
What of the children? Ones who cannot survive on their own, who have no anchor anymore. Orphans, like me…
I cannot be here, I must… I want to see my Dad, but how can I, he’s long escaped my grasp.
My chest burns with grief, and icy tears roll down my cheeks.
I cannot hate, I refuse to stoop down to that level.
I would be no better than them, and how could I be so selfish? Hatred will always inflict more hatred unless you are willing to look over the pain brought unto you.
So I sink to the floor and I sob my forgiveness into the echoing silence.