A Bad Year

by Larry Strattner

It's been a bad year,

People dying.

Some too close to home,

Some too far away.


I cry down to you,

In your casket, and think

you might sit up.

You were not sick

You went in just a moment,

Looking stunning and alive.


Not like him,

Who a blasted building fell upon,

Squashing him flat,

Like a bug,


of some small, hateful child.


Nor him,

face shattered,

by some fanatic firework,

an evil roman candle,

spewing a hail of nails.


Or her,

though not yet dead,


with childish wonder,

large black eyes,

open wide for it,

wasted body leaning toward it,

small hand reaching out.


We cannot save ourselves,

from crying,

we the coldest of us,

we the ones alive.

Clearly we see ourselves,

in the faces of the bad year,

lying in front of friends,

lying in front of our gods,

lying in front of the world,


It's been a bad year,

and in our knowing,

of these other deaths,

we ourselves are stricken.