On December 16, 2014, In Peshawar, Pakistan, terrorists attacked a public school, killing 141 innocent civilians. 132 of those were children… students of the school. They injured around 125 others, most of them… students. Story after story, I read of death and more death, until I started looking for survivor stories. I ran across one: A 9th grader whose alarm clock didn’t go off and who is reportedly the only 9th grader to survive. I put myself in his shoes, and a tsunami of emotions just poured into me, and this is what came out of me.
The first of many memorials;
All within one day’s time.
All those around are mourning,
And every step feels like a crime.
A wrongful accusation
Of a clock’s wrongful chime.
The fifth of many memorials bring
A heavy heart, surreal.
All those around are mourning
And asking how I feel.
My head is sore, my body numb,
And all I want to do is keel.
The tenth of many memorials is
A painful memory of
The boy I called my friend
With a heart so big and soft.
So many common things did we share,
And now I’m at a loss.
The fifteenth of many memorials, and
I silently beg, “No more.”
But the names of all those departed
Still knock on Death’s roster door.
I pray for forgiveness
And for their souls to soar.
The twentieth of many memorials, and
my being goes officially numb.
I go through the motions
But feel absolutely dumb.
I continue on to the remaining funerals,
As my presence is a sign of hope;
If not to many, I am to some.
© Elle Short Stack Story Time 2014
This Christmas, I wish for those who survived the killing spree at the Army Public School to know that their lives were meant to share the compassion and hope for the future against tyranny and terrorism. I wish for them to not feel guilty for surviving or living their lives in fear. I pray for the victims’ families’ hearts to heal and to not ask why other children lived while theirs did not. I pray for the community to rally around the families and survivors, whether Muslim, Christian, Jew. I wish, this Christmas, that the global network show their love and support to this innocent community that suffered at the hands of the same terror that struck America what seems so many years ago; for the world to open their hearts as they did to the Philippines when Yolanda (and now Ruby) smashed upon the shores.