After Christchurch

Updated: Jan 11, 2020


In response to the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15th March 2019

Yesterday could have been a poem. Yesterday could have wrapped death in warm grief embrace and held still. Yesterday could have become a number, a quantity of lives severed by tragedy. Yesterday could have ended with arrests and charges and loose ends tied. But yesterday was not the end. Today we are propelled by a grief which demands that we stand, that we act. Today we watch the pattern unfold between tragedies and statistics. Today we are left to piece together the comprehension of senseless violence. Yesterday forty-nine people became poems to be recited at funerals and anniversaries. Forty-nine people became cautionary tales passed along the political spectrum. Forty-nine people were reduced to a number by the bullets of a white supremacist. Forty-nine people ricocheted through the concentric circles of human connection. Yesterday the heart of a compassionate country was swallowed by bullet-riddled corpses. Yesterday a nation of refuge was cleaved by unfathomable violence. Yesterday forty-nine people died in a house of worship they believed sacred and safe. Yesterday was not a poem; it cannot be reduced to sensical syllables nor can its impact be quantified. Yesterday cannot hold still, but moves through us in incomprehensible waves. Yesterday will not end, but will propel us into tomorrow. A tomorrow we do not know or understand but with which we continue to wrestle, until yesterday cannot be repeated.

#christchurch #mosque #violence #grief #poetry #terrorattack


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