The Unopened Gift

Ever since hearing about the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut today, I haven't been able to get the image of an unopened gift out of my head. Right now, a lot of families have presents under their Christmas trees, freshly wrapped gifts for people who will never open them. But it's so much more than that. Like the unopened presents under the tree, these young people were gifts to the world that we too will never be able to open, and that's the ultimate tragedy of any child's death.

Poetry is not a medium I've ever excelled at. It's not just because I'm bad at it (because I am). It's also because I always feel like I need more words to tell a story. But maybe it's because words fail me right now that this came out the way it did. I wrote this because it was the only way this persistent image in my head wanted to be expressed.

A box beneath evergreen
An untouched shiny bow
A parent's hopes wrapped
In a paper shroud

An unsolved puzzle
An unplayed game
A doll with no Mommy
Army men with no General

A toy with no memories
Innocence bedecked in shimmer
A sugarplum fairy dream
Suspended in ether