Thursday, December 20, 2012

Empty Chairs: A Lament for the Children of Sandy Hook

Dedicated to the beloved children of Newtown, Connecticut

Empty Chairs: A Lament for the Children
©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson

Why must a mother mourn her son at Christmas?
Why must a father lose his daughter fair?
How will we bear the sorrow of this season,
when days ago their laughter filled the air?

No longer do their faces light the morning.
Each day, the sun falls hard on empty chairs.
When will our eyes stop searching for their presence...
our ears stop hearing small steps on the stairs?

How can a father turn his heart to Christmas,
when evil robs his home of love and joy?
How can a mother heal her stricken family,
while her soul mourns one shining girl or boy?

How cruel to take them when the bells were ringing,
as old St. Nick was packing up his sleigh.  
The gifts around the tree hold little meaning
with none to open them on Christmas day.

Why must the Yule be tainted with such anguish?
Let death choose January, still and bleak.
The birth of Christ should ne'er be scarred by horror.
Give back the downy hair, the rosy cheek.

Give back the peace that once was ours to cherish.
Return to us the hope that saves and heals.
Raise up the fallen, never more to perish.
Remind us of the way redemption feels.

The answer comes from heaven; can you hear it...
as angel voices light the darkened skies?
For unto you is born this day a Savior,
good tidings of great joy for all mankind.

What better time than Christmas to find solace,
to contemplate the message of His birth?
One day, the good shall overcome the wicked,
and Christ shall reign in glory on this earth.

In that great day, all things will be restored.
The pains of death will leave nary a trace.
Till then, we look to Christ for loving comfort,
and find our children safe in His embrace.

David Bowman
click below for more E posts


jen said...

Beautiful. And the music is perfect. I've thought these same things. Can you imagine pulling out all the gifts you'd already bought and looking at them with no one to give them to? That would just about kill me.

karen said...

Lovely and full of hope and peace. It's the only thing that would get me through. I was hoping that at least some of the grieving parents share similar beliefs so they can have some comfort in their devastating loss.

Unknown said...

That is beautiful. Am all teary-eyed now. xxx

Lisalulu said...

Beautiful, and I should not have read this at work. I'll just say it's an allergy that's making my eyes cry.

Brian Miller said...

ugh a sad beauty...holidays are hard in the respect the empty chairs are unavoidable...let death choose january, we can only hope you know....i do think we need to, this year especially, make christmas warm and full of love...and not let the dark shadows steal away what can be a wonderful time with the ones we still have....

Marianne said...

this is beautiful Sue, I hope some of those families will see this

Unknown said...

This is such a beautiful poem. I truly don't know how without God you can start to wrap your brain around the event that happened last week.

carol l mckenna said...

Powerful poem Sue and wonderful photo ~ wish you a Happy and peaceful Xmas and Healthy New Year.

(A Creative Harbor ~ aka ArtMuse Dog and Carol ^_^)

Thanks for coming by ^_^

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

I had to share this on Facebook.
This is just so Beautiful.
Thank you Sue for saying what is in all of our hearts and minds.
I can't stop crying over this horrific senseless act.
Honestly I don't think I will ever be the same after this.
God Bless You Sue for sharing this and Merry Christmas dear friend.

Terra said...

Sue you are a master of words. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing your heart with all of us.

Darlene said...

When I first read this, I absolutely couldn't make a comment because I was crying so hard. The thing I did was to get ready to go shopping. I have needed to go for quite a few days and Dick was kind enough to take me. I was able to find me a pair of black athletic shoes that didn't hurt my poor toes, a brown pair of pants and some pajamas. We did pretty well. We just got back and I am able to comment now. Honestly Sue, neither Dick nor I can understand where you got your amazing talent. I could never write a poem like that. What a tribute it was to those poor children and their parents. I feel so very sorry for them. I couldn't read it again, because if I did I would start to cry again.

Dick thinks you should be known all over America. He would challenge any living poet to try to write something as wonderful as this poem. Of course I echo his thoughts. You absolutely amaze me with your talent and I'm so proud you are my daughter.

storybeader said...

gosh, such a sad time of year. I live in Oklahoma, and there's a monument in OKC, with empty chairs for the children killed there in the OKC bombing... That's what your image reminded me of, before I even read the poem. {:-Deb

Gail said...

Your words....I'm speechless.

Stacy said...

Beautifully stated.

Grandma Honey said...

This one brought tears to my eyes. What comfort this poem brings.

Grandma Honey said...

You really ought to send this to the parents of those precious children. They would love it, no doubt in my mind.

Gattina said...

Beautifully written ! I think it was a shock for the whole world, what a tragedy ! If you want come to my blog Belgian schoolchildren from Bastogne planted 26 oak trees for the victims of this disaster !

Jo said...

Beautiful Sue ...

EG CameraGirl said...

You have the gift of expressing in words what many of us feel in our hearts.

Robert Brault said...

This tragedy happened just a few miles down the road from me. The images you paint are ones that so many of us here have been carrying in painful silence, thinking them inexpressible. It is so healing to hear them voiced and to know that our grief is shared by neighbors many miles away. Thank you.

Lola said...

Totally agree -such a powerful poem.

A Happy and peaceful Xmas and New Year to you.

Tonya said...

What a beautiful post. I can't imagine the sorrow those parents/grandparents/siblings will feel on Christmas morning, and for so many days to come. I pray God will give them an extra measure of grace and comfort.

Judie said...

Sue, Anita sent me a copy of "His Children." I wish everyone had this book right now. What a gift you are!

Pride In Photos Beauty said...

wow....a wonderful poem for this very sad event.I still can't believe it happened to these families. A very sad Christmas for them!!!!

Debra at HOMESPUN: said...

Absolutely beautiful

Jim said...

A nice tribute poem, Sue. And nice for "E" word, 'Empty Chairs."

Unknown said...

Beautiful words. I have to believe that the Lord's tender mercies will be on these families especially this Christmas.

momto8 said...

you have a writing gift..and a blessing to be able to inspire faith in the face of such a tragic situation.

Noodle said...

I linked to this post on my blog. This is so beautiful, it is painful. I don't think we will ever be the same, after so much innocence was taken from this earth like it was.
It changes you, and makes you realize what is truly, deeply important.
Thank you for helping me to think about these things and feel them right down to the center of my being. Your poem and the music, and the amazing picture of Jesus embracing the little girl (she bears a striking resemblance to my 6 yr. old granddaughter) - all of these,together, bring release to my aching heart.
Bless you.

LeAnn said...

Just so beautiful! I felt this deep within my heart and felt the tears sting my face, thank you!

Caroline said...

Sue, Your words heal my heart this morning. This was beautiful....

Brian Miller said...

happy new year sue....hope you and yours had a great turn of the page...and wish you all the best in the new year...

Judi said...

Very poignant and timely. You certainly captured the moment.
Reminded me of the sadness from Les Miz's "Empty chairs and empty tables".

Jenny said...

My heart is still aching from this tragedy.

Your writing was so extraordinary here Miss Sue.

Can you find a way to address our budget deficit? Perhaps someone, somewhere will listen to you?

Excellent, touching and poignant writing.


Extraordinary as always.