Friday, May 3, 2013

Smeared with Cookie

I've been working on this for about 10 years. It just keeps growing. But I wrote it today because I don't want it to grow anymore. Maybe now my fear can end, because it's all down on the page and it will all stop. Obviously still a work in progress, but I wanted to get it down. I don't have a title yet. Any ideas?

It was September 12, 2001.
I was with a small friend:
Netanya, age 6.

We were coloring.
Netanya looked at me.
Something bad happened, she told me.
Yes, I said, meeting her eyes.
Mommy said someone died.
Yes, I said, nodding.
She chose another crayon.

One person died, she said.
She stopped coloring and looked at me again.
Did more than one person die?
I looked at her eyes, so big, so big.
And I said, Yes. I said, more than one person.
She didn't look away.
Two people died?
Yes, I said.
Then her eyes get even bigger.
Did more than two people die?

More than two? She said again; it was
just a number so big. So big.

It was April 15, 2013.
I was with my husband and daughter, Grace,
whose age we still counted in months, not yet two.

She was blissfully eating a cookie with
peanut butter and chocolate.
Someone died, my husband said.
I looked at him.
One person? How many?
I don't know, he said.
More than one? I said, as we tried
to contact everyone we knew who ran,
who stood at the finish line.

More than two? I thought.
Not again.
Grace grinned, as one smeared with cookie, would.
As kids everywhere, would.
As the kids at Sandy Hook did, earlier that day.
A number so big, that day. So big.

I wiped Grace's hands, held
her to me and forced myself to walk
outside to the swings
where we could swing into the sky, so big.


  1. Dear Kate,

    liked your innovative style of writing, would be glad to help you with digital book of your stories/ poem. please connect back to me for details.