In Memoriam (#Charlestonshooting)

Darkness and Light

Obsidian night
stretching into day
light drowned in tears.

Fleeting flashes
bright sparks of hatred
snuffing out souls.

Real people
not abstractions.
Speak their names.

Cynthia Hurd
54 years old.
Beloved librarian.

Innocents communing
in the bosom of “Mother Emanuel”
eagerly studying God’s word.

Susie Jackson
87 years old.
Church trustee and former choir member.

What kind of person sits
steeped in a nuclear winter
waiting to mow people down?

Ethel Lee Lance
70 years old.
Matriarch of her family.

What kind of society
raises its children to execrate
with such extreme exuberance?

Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor
49 years old.
An angelic voice and soul.

What makes a young man
so afraid
of people celebrating God?

The Honorable Rev. Clementa Pinckney
41 years old.
A beacon of hope and life.

What turns fear
into hate
into a shooting spree?

Tywanza Sanders
26 years old.
Took the bullet meant for his grandma.

We set the stage
with confederate flags
and guns – our golden calf.

Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.
74 years old.
Father and grandfather.

The gun a recent present
from father to son
violence passed down through generations.

Rev. Sharonda Singleton
45 years old.
Mother, teacher, coach, minister.

A young child
played dead to survive
what lessons has he learned?

Myra Thompson
59 years old.
Wife of a vicar from another congregation.

Speak the names.
Honor their lives
do not forsake them.

Speak the name
cold-blooded murder
a terrorist act.

Wait for the light
the sun will rise again
as we bury our dead.

May they rest in peace
their souls forever shining
with God’s light.

© 2015 Audrey M. Roth, All Rights Reserved


About armsakimbobook

I'm a mother, a lawyer, a feminist, a writer, a potter, and an inveterate and unapologetic New Yorker. My book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing, tells of my journey of healing over a number of years, learning to live a full life after I was molested by my father at a very young age. I live in Maynard, MA, with my wife and and our two moose-cats, Samson and Hercules. My daughter used to live with me part-time, but she's all grown up now and in her junior year of college, which I can't quite fathom, since she was born about five minutes ago...
This entry was posted in Grieving, Healing, Poems, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to In Memoriam (#Charlestonshooting)

  1. lbeth1950 says:

    Heartbreaking tribute to some wonderful people who died on the altar of darkest hatred. How can we do this to each other?


  2. lbeth1950 says:

    Reblogged this on Nutsrok and commented:
    Reblogged from Arms Akimbo


  3. That was a beautiful tribute. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cote8050 says:

    Beautiful piece, so moving… such a horrible tragedy, another symptom of a sickness in our society but as horrible and senseless as this is, the outpouring of positive energy and faith in mankind that I have seen on the news from the families and the people in the streets, of all races, together demanding the end of this unfounded hatred has been so heartwarming and makes me hopeful for the further of us all. I will try not to focus on the hate but on the sickness of the hater. .

    Liked by 1 person

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