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Spirits of Goodness

There is a snowy field
behind the school,
at Columbine,
    where dreams and
       flowers fell-


where crosses broke a slender sky,
and clouds were held
by thirteen souls,
and two,
who struggled in the mists

came that day, too late
to soften such hard blows,
but how it fell!
    White tears of ice,
    in beauty came, to fill the silent gasp.

Darkness flows,
I am drawn toward
the ragged sky-  an empty, lightless thing
a shadow against the Universe-I cry:
    "come back and I will hold you all;
    we will find the nation's heart and
    hover there-
      come back into the fragrant air
    and have a newer spring, fresher than
    the snow!"
I asked the plaintive sky:

"what did you see today?
were kinder children playing-
was every river running
were all the young men hugging
is anger washed away?"

-to the hills I called:

"why are these snowfields trampled
and rainbows come unwoven,
the loved ones all so crumpled-
how can this silence find a song?"


       In future springs
       the columbines will rise
as they have always done
  a softer sun
 reminding us of lives
 and swiftness
     -beauties gone;

just above this very field, some spirits come
     first, the two
   then five,
and more are seen
then, all fifteen-

to find the fragile flowers, they have come
-then each heart is opened by the bloom
and how forgivenss flows
and how the rivers run-
and we are humbled,

When all is done, they turn
with shimmered sun
like crystal things
each holding each,
dancing through The Garden of the Gods-
then on.

-- J. Ketchum
April 20-30, 1999

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