A Moment of Silence, Please

A Moment of Silence, Please  –by Jinny Batterson

(This short meditation was written in April, 2007, just after the mass shootings at Virginia Tech. At the time, I was in China, teaching English.  At this first anniversary of a different mass shooting, may we all find and make time for nourishing silences.)

On a cruel blustery April morning
A lonely gunman shot 32 others dead
Then killed himself.

Many of the dead were students
Including the killer.

We grieve.

Politicians mouth words of comfort,
All the while insisting
No words can suffice.

Many gatherings opt
For a moment of silence.

We remember other losses
In our own private spaces.

The gunman, reports say,
Was a loner.
Had little contact with anyone
Except as a sometime stalker.

A loneliness stalks our crowded planet.
We have less and less time,
It seems, to share even idle chatter,
Much less the silences of awe
Or intense joy.

Perhaps we can remember
More often
To share nourishing silences,
So we will have fewer occasions
To share the mourning kind.

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