This verse made its way out after President Obama announced
there would be a moment of silence for the victims of the Arizona shooting.
A moment of silence: it honors, is reverent
Yet perhaps now, today, ever-so-slightly irrelevant
In the silence is wisdom, reflection, and prayer
Yet also ambivalence (shrug shoulders) who cares?
A moment so brief and then back to distraction
A fleeting outpouring then default contraction —
The pain may be numbed, the sorrow diminished
Feelings reined in and perfunctory rituals finished
Yet who will sooth say that we’ve earned ourselves closure
By momentarily donning pale masks of civil composure?
Perhaps something different, a more earnest resolution
Might beget quantum leaps in our human evolution
Can we not connect up naked hearts everlasting
For the whole of existence, not simply in passing
Perhaps not a moment but lifetimes instead
To carry flowers to the living, light for the dead
And in place of the silence, the gesture outspoken:
Sweet kisses beyond tender, hugs that transcend the token
A touch beyond custom, a gaze caught, then lingered
Compassion and caring truly wrought, not malingered,
Collective blaming, decrying will not carry us forward
There are steps to be taken – not away from, yet toward
The first is to allow yourself fully to feel
The next to acknowledge your desire to heal,
Soon you let others know in true kindness expressing
That you recognize all that they carry! The blessings,
The pain, the loss, the joys scarcely known
And in their tearful eyes, you see mirrored your own.
In one moment of silence, untold songs can be sung
Words of love embosomed gently on the tips of searching tongues,
Unrestricted weeping melts away the frozen face of fear
And brings new life to barren blooms here, and here and here
Within the silence you will reap new treasures found within
And then you’ll find within the moment,
all begins and nothing ends.