Tuesday, December 1, 2009

for police and family members: Emily Dickinson

Now that the duties to the public are done, there are a million private duties. The real work of living again starts when all those strangers pack up and go home. So, Miss Dickinson's poem, numbered 341.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes--
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round--
On Ground, or Air, or Ought--
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone--

This is the hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--the the letting go--

So, dear strangers in Lakewood: you haven't slept or taken care of yourself. You have to start that now.
And dear strangers elsewhere: this is where the candles need to be freshened and lit again, this time for the survivors.


Slamdunk said...

Excellent and meaningful selection. Thanks for posting.

Ann T. said...

Thank you, Slamdunk.

I notice that I stay upset about the survivors of tragedy longer. I also worry about what can be done for them. Anyway, that's why I chose this.

Ann T.