When did we last live so freely?

The children exited the red school doors, and ran to our arms for a double hug, each balancing on one knee. Not all parents would get a hug today.

They handed their dad two backpacks filled with stories, not bullet holes. Their clothes, warm from recess, contained no stains of fearful bowel release. 

“Look, Mom, I made a birdhouse.” My daughter held up a wobbly structure with several openings. I noticed the lack of locks. When did we last live so freely? I thought. But, there are things they don’t tell us.

“Mom, can we stop by the playground? Please.” I adjusted my son’s helmet and thought of the bikes left behind on another school rack.

“Maybe for a minute,” I responded. And later, as I watched an empty park swing sway, I grieved with the parent who would never again push it.


D’Verse Prosery A heartbreaking 144 words or less hosted by Lisa. I hope she doesn’t mind if I repost her video, as I penned this while listening.

These are the things they don’t tell us.
– Girl Du Jour, from Notes on Uvalde

39 Comments

  1. You’ve touched on the emotions here so very well….and empty park swing so metaphorical for what so many parents are facing in Uvalde. And Sandy Hook. And Columbine. And on and on and on……horiffic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It has been heavy on my mind. I was actually relieved to see this prompt as it seemed the perfect moment to try and express my feelings. Thank you for reading this. I’m excited for bedtime and the chance to get around to everyone’s posts.

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  2. K, those things left behind at the school are so devastating, with a radiation that both pulls and repels. Cannot even begin to imagine anyone involved having to see or touch them. I really like the image of the children coming off the bus and running to their parents, safe and happy and sharing loving moments with them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Before cell phones, I remember being broken down along the freeway, being angry at the swarm of cars who could not be bothered with my predicament. I, now, pull over and offer assistance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have wanted to write about this latest tragedy, but I think didn’t even know where to start. The line allowed me to frame it somewhat. I really appreciate your comment and that you stopped by to read and leave this message is much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tricia. I thought I replied to your comment yesterday, but I don’t see it now. Yes, my daughter made a birdhouse this past week and once I started to try and write this moment, it just sort of fit in so well. Thank you so much for reading and connecting with my prosery.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It has been heavy on me to write about these feelings. I think the length of the prosery assignment gave me the perfect frame to try and speak about it. I am so grateful for your comments, friend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is. I do feel an ache right now, and a tenseness. I am hopeful for a big change but feel, like many, very powerless on how to enact any of it. Thank you for reading and commenting Ain.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s tragic, heartbreaking, and one of things they don’t tell us is that it’s totally preventable. If I was one of those parents I’d try and turn my grief into anger and action. Easy to say though.

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    1. Yes, I am not one of those parents and I want to turn my residual grief and anger into action. I’ve emailed my representatives and engaged in some heated discussions with gun enthusiasts, but I want to do more. I will be looking for ways to do more. Thanks for connecting with me, Jane.

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    1. Yes. And for all parents now who must question and wonder all day. My heart is not at rest until I have done something more substantial to try and change this. I am hoping the right opportunity will present itself and that I will have the courage to act on behalf of these parents and their children.

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  5. So profound. So painful. So poignant. My heart aches, and there is nothing that can be done about it.
    Ive learnt to appreciate every moment, to enjoy our loved ones, to cherish our children (for now its my tiny baby inside my tummy ❤️) and to pray to God that he keep us, our children and the world safe.

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    1. Thank you. I have wanted to write more about the school shootings, but not known how to begin. I’m glad this prompt gave me a way to start. Thank you for reading it and these kind comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. I completely understand. I have two poems that are not yet complete about the school shootings. Don’t know if they’ll make it to publishing. Im glad there was an outlet for you that worked. It’s always my pleasure.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s like a soft spot on a favorite fruit you just try to ignore but know it’s not going anywhere. I did feel a bit better writing this.

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  6. beautifully written K; my kids schooldays were like this until the dark days of child abductions and disappearances haunted our city: the three Beaumont children from 1966 have never been found 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This moved me to goosebumps. I appreciate the way you held nothing back in your expression. Through your comments, I can feel the fear and uneasiness. The stats and (lack of) regulations speak for themselves in comparison to my own country. It is all so disturbing and senseless.

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