Indelible Moments

Denise Hill

It was the first day of school
after they found N.
on a wellness check at his home
he died sitting in his chair
cuppa tea left steeping in the kitchen
I had to meet his students
tell them he would not
be coming back
I asked them to take out
a blank sheet of paper
write down their thoughts and feelings
share if they wanted

It was the first day of school
after 9/11
I grappled to make sense
how to make any of it matter
whether anyone would
even show up
the class was full and silent
we opened our blank books
filled them with thoughts and feelings
we would all look back on
each decade later

It was the first day of school
after the pandemic
it hasn’t yet arrived
but I can already understand
everything we’ve lost
everything I loved most
now the mounting fear
and resolve to make it work
each day I open my journal
make note of cases and deaths
locally and globally
so many thoughts and feelings
still yet to come

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