For Wendi Winters
For your four children and husband
this is not another shooting.
This is the day the world gave out
and you fell straight through it.
This is the day they would have said something,
anything, different, if they had known.
They’d have never let you leave the house.
You don’t know me and I’ve never met your family
in Annapolis. I’m writing from Colorado and still
I hear their silent wail traveling all this way
to the long grasses, the lonely church down the road
with its one small light and the lone cow standing in the river.
I hear nothing, which is to say I hear
a silence that no one can touch,
that touches everything,
a wordless ache rolling hot and slow
across the prairie
across a nation that thinks freedom
sounds like this, this silence and not your words, ringing
as they did across the keyboard
Five dead in Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis, Maryland [CNN]
Wendi Winters, a prolific writer for the Capital, enjoyed sharing stories about local residents [Baltimore Sun]
Newspaper veterans among victims of Capital Gazette shooting [The Guardian]
Alexandra Donovan is a poet, teacher, and volunteer chaplain. She received her BA from Stanford University and her MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Alexandra’s writing has appeared in Pirene’s Fountain, Selfish Magazine, Ruminate, Gyroscope Review, and Presence Journal. Her first chapbook, Mother Stump, is forthcoming from Yak Press. She is writing from Las Animas, Colorado, where she is currently serving as the Denver Lighthouse Writers Workshop’s Writer in Residence at the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Facility.
Image of Wendi Winters courtesy of the Capital Gazette.