Friday, May 27, 2022

Thread of Life

It's the end of May and while contemplating summertime bliss, an unexpected, horrific event headlines the news and cuts across social media. Unbelievable scenes flash across the screen sending shockwaves across America. I break my train of thought regarding the design of a Poetryliscious Gallery and a writing challenge for the end of May from the Poetry Sisters to stare in disbelief at what I see and hear. Sheer sadness fills my space. The thread of life spun so beautifully within the lives of nineteen innocent children is cut in a cruel act of hate. The small community of Uvalde, Texas becomes a worldwide focus, a sign that hate crimes are still looming, even after 

Writing is a healer. "The mechanics of putting pen to paper to tell our story can bring immense relief. A powerful outlet for difficult emotions, the physical act of taking what’s inside us, and transferring it to paper, can help us make meaning of situations and help us cope..." (The Healing Power of Writing) 
And so I write to make sense of the Uvalde tragedy using the invitation of the Poetry Sisters to write a poem with the theme of string, thread, rope or chain.

End-of-school momentum,

a day filled with anticipation,

summertime looming,

ice cream and floating balloons

tied with string -

It should have been all of that,

yet, the echo of a rifle's reverberation

silenced childhood joy.

On Tuesday, chaos exploded

in the small community of Uvalde, Texas.

It crisscrossed classrooms.

Shockwaves of disbelief

spread like wildfire.

Law enforcers converged

on school property

hoping to ward off

a deranged young man

armed to shoot an elementary school.

Memories of Sandy Hook flashed.

The uncertainty of life

became a reiterated reality.

Within minutes,

nineteen little angels

floated to heaven.

Shots of hate

ended their thread of life.


J.R.R. Tolkien's questions may be one pondered by the parents of the Robb Elementary School slaughtred children. "How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep...that have taken hold."

Hate is infectious. It breaks the threads that hold us together. It is a major threat to humankind that we need to reckon with.


The Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted this week by school librarian/poet, Linda Mitchell. She is writing from her heart about the horrific news of Uvalde, Texas. Join me there for more poetry goodness.


  1. Carol, on the day after this horror, my colleague told of watching a parent dropping off a child. To enter our building, a person is on camera and must press a button for the front office to unlock the door. This parent brought the child and on exiting, turned to pull on the door to be sure it was locked behind her. It strikes me as an act of faith...As the news of Uvalde unfolded, I wrote a small anagram poem. It was all I could manage in those moments. So happens that the anagram of Uvalde is "valued." Those children. Their families. The teachers, staff, school, community. Humanity itself, suffering profound inhumanity...there need be no more lessons on sweeping reforms that need to occur regarding guns and mental healthcare. The thread of life is so fragile. How DOES one pick it up again when it is so broken? Your poem pulsates with loss and your post's final line resonates with truth: "Hate is infectious. It breaks the threads that hold us together. It is a major threat to humankind that we need to reckon with." Thank you for finding the words.

  2. I think Fran writes eloquently my reaction to your poem and post. This infection must be fought off...but with what more? We've voted, we've marched we've spoken at town halls. I'm left with poetry today. Thank goodness for that. I need it as a re-charge.

  3. There is no going back. Writing is a healer. Truth. xo

  4. Especially thank you for that Tolkien quotation. I don't process grief fast enough to write yet, but thank you, thank you for beginning with such strong words -- and grounding us by reminding us where to begin - reweaving our threads.

  5. The quotation is so appropriate and so true. How do we go back? We cannot. New threads must be sown/sewn into the garment of life for all those who experienced this tragic loss. I hope they have the strength to continue. I hope change can prevent this from happening again. We need not only need threads but whole new garments - of love, tolerance, grace, and more... I hope we are not beyond finding those.

  6. Thinking of all my beautiful American friends who have to live with this fear, heartache and injustice, and praying that your leaders find a thread of steel running through their backbones, so they have the courage to stand for change. For life. For freedom.

  7. Given these horrors are your lived experience, Carol, it is all the more important to seek a salve for the wounded soul in writing your poem. The ripples of heartbreak and despair have reverberated around the world. You are not alone in your total sense of suffering.

  8. Sigh. Carol, my heart just aches. There are no words I can get out. Thank you for offering yours.

  9. Your first sentences are so perfect...the shattered expectations for "summertime bliss," the "shockwaves." It's that ending of your post that I'm hanging onto -- we MUST keep the threads of humanity and sanity woven tightly against the slashing of hate.

  10. Yes, to all of that retelling...and yet in this instance again I feel like hate is not the operative word. All I feel is the pain and hurt and the desperate worthlessness that boy was expressing. Weave, weave, weave from the very beginning, everyone into the parachute.

  11. "Writing is a healer." We must keep writing. Thank you for the reminder, Carol.