Writer and teacher Jane Wohl tries to come to terms with the Boston Marathon Bombing in this elegaic poem.
Mozart in the Morning
This is not a poem I want to write, I’d rather scrub floors, or change a tire,
but I watch Thomas helping students in the Writing Center.
I see his twenty-one year-old, scruffily bearded face, blue bandana around his neck,
and like a Necker cube, it shifts, to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on trial in Boston.
They could be the same boys, the same motherless children, the same almost-men.
Two stones on the hillside, knocked aside by travelers, by snow, by shifts of earth,
fall along different paths. One follows a course through trees, through pine duff,
stopping gently against a slight rise in the earth, the other plummets,
ricochets off boulders, breaks against a granite wall.
Today on my way to school, I turn the Mozart up so that the Lachrimosa plays
against the news reports of the death penalty, against the testimony of survivors,
amputees, limbs lost in the bombing. Someone says, “Why would you ask for death
when someone could spend the rest of his life in a Super Max?”
and I see the young face, the dark eyes, the scruffy beard.
The music soars, Qua resurget ex favilla, from ashes we will return.
Thomas leans down toward a student’s work, his face absorbed, serious.
I know the passion that rests uneasily beneath the quiet surface,
I want, and who am I to say that what I want is of any matter, I want
them to be bathed in light. Et lux perpetua, et lux perpetua the Requiem
teaches us, as if it were that simple, as if we could wish it so.
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Photo Huffington Post