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Devon O'Brien Headshot

To The Mommies of Newtown,

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To the Mommies of Newtown, the Daddies of Newtown, and all the Families of Newtown, too:

Olivia and Avielle, Benjamin and Jack,
Dylan and Daniel, Catherine and James, Ana and Noah,
Caroline and Emilie, Jessica and Allison,
Madeleine and Josephine, Charlotte and Jesse, Chase and Grace --

They suffered not for very long, not for very long.
May there be some solace in this, oh grief-gone parents,
brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, grandparents and cousins, too.
(They lived not for very long, not for very long!)
This is terrible and this is true.
All citizens bear your loss with you.

(Show us their little bodies, Newtown Bee!
Let us see what these parents see.
Why should these bear the bullets alone?
We all are parents, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts,
Grandparents and cousins, too.)

"These woods are used to a bang and a crack."
Yet we cannot bring these babies back.
Show us their wounds. The Newtown blood stains us all:
Gun-bearers or not. Let us see what this law permits,
What the antique amendment has wrought.

Mommies of Newtown, Daddies of Newtown,
Brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, grandparents and cousins, too --
Open your doors, if you can.
Speak on your doorstep, if you can.
(Oh, how can we ask anything more of you?)
Come out by the flagpole,
Cry by the Christmas tree.
Why should you suffer sequestered?
Make us bear the sight of you;
The sight of you sears us.
Let these babies shock a nation becoming
A shield to protect all children and all others.

These first graders of Sandy Hook Elementary took
Bushmaster bullets --
They can change the world.
Mommies of Newtown, Daddies of Newtown,
Brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, grandparents and cousins, too --
Come out of your houses, stay on your streets.
Light your candles and light your Christmas trees.
Let Newtown be the center of Christmas.
The nation holds a vigil for you.

These first graders of Sandy Hook Elementary took
Bullets over and over --
(It's all over, it's all over! Our weak words to comfort you,
Mommies of Newtown, Daddies of Newtown,
And all of the Families of Newtown, too.)
Our actions can make them more than victims;
The boys will be heroes, the girls all heroines.

"As we move on from what happened here...
Let it not turn into something that defines us," Robbie Parker,
Father of Emilie, managed to utter into microphones.
Let's let the dying courage of Dawn and Mary, Victoria and Lauren, Anne Marie and Rachel and Nancy steel us to un-right this right.
The first graders of Sandy Hook Elementary may
change the world, making the country safer for others.
(Unimaginable sacrifice! So utterly horrible! So entirely unforeseen!)

20 Mylar balloons, each affixed to a bridge by a string, and bobbing skyward,
may prove a fragile but solid fence against firearms.
Mommies of Newtown, Daddies of Newtown,
And all of the Families of Newtown, too,
(Oh, how can we ask any more of you?!)
Open your doors, if you can.
Speak on your doorsteps.
Do not spare us.
Appall our nation. Sear us so
Olivia and Avielle, Benjamin and Jack,
Dylan and Daniel, Catherine and James, Ana and Noah,
Caroline and Emilie, Jessica and Allison,
Madeleine and Josephine, Charlotte and Jesse, Chase and Grace --
Your children will not have been slain in vain.