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I spent many weeks trying to think about what to write after the Sandy Hook shooting. Nothing seemed right or fitting for such a tragedy. Then on a long train journey I started to write and these are the lines that I ended up with.

Mural for Sandy HookFor all of those at Sandy Hook

Coulds & Shoulds

They fell; huddled and torn,

flesh riddled with holes

surrounded by crayon drawings;

their bodies barely worn.


Rat-a-tat-tat spread itself

a scatter of deadly shine,

the scarlet of their lives a

river of coulds and shoulds.

Siblings became less

parents became lost,

a town misplaced its soul

as 26 lives were taken by one.


Grief spread its black fingers,

twisted into a pinch

that throbbed through the world,

arrhythmia of sorrow.


They live on frozen in time

clinging as memories,

countless decades stolen –

lost in coulds and shoulds.

Photo from: https://images.nonexiste.net/popular/2012/12/17/a-friend-of-mine-created-this-sandy-hook-tribute-mural-heartbreaking-and-beautiful-at-the-same-time/