Dawn’s Prequel

I’m writing so much these days, yet none of it is making it to the blog! My final classes in the M.A. program have me writing more than if I’d just done a thesis, but that’s okay. I’m enjoyin’ meself!

Today’s offering is a poem I wrote for an assignment in my Neoclassical Lit class, but I think I’ll share it here. It’s pretty much a downer, so if you’re sad already, you won’t want to read this. Still, I think it’s important to remember those who suffered (and are still suffering) from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Dawn’s Prequel

7:00 a.m.

Dawn opens her eyes

rubs the sleep away with fingertips

still coated with lanolin from the new wool

her partner spun for her,

wool she just had to work with

into the wee hours of the morning.

While her lover had dozed,

snoring gently,

she’d drunk wine and

with deft hands

fashioned a gift for Juanita, the lunch lady.

It was her birthday tomorrow; no, today! she realized.

December 14, 2012.

Don’t forget to have kids make Juanita a card!


7:20 a.m.

No time for a shower.

Just a cup of Earl Grey

with a smidgeon of that mango stuff from Teazaanti.

Dawn smiles,

remembering dear, gay Justin

who sold her the tea.

Must order some more soon.


7:58 a.m.

The car is cold as the grave.

The locks had been frozen again;

she almost had to call in sick.

Inside, the fitful heater had given up.


she plugs in her MP3 player.

Notes from Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You”

drop like snowflakes into the crisp car-cold.

Mom’s song! Dawn smiles,

thinking of her mother’s faded red Converse hi-tops

all worn down at the heels from her travels.

Should call her today. Remind her of Flying Fingers’ one-day sale.


9:07 a.m.

A sobbing child stands near the toilets.

“I peeped my pants, Ms. Dawn!” she wails.

“Oh, Alana! It’s okay!”

She crouches quickly,

hugging the child until the tears cease.

Conspiratorially, she says, “No one will find out.

I have some nice clean clothes for you.”

Don’t forget to refill that clean clothes bin! There aren’t two socks that match in the whole damn pile.


9:43 a.m.

Intent on helping Alexis write her name on Juanita’s card,

Dawn does not hear him enter.

Even when the telltale snick-snick…ch-ch-ch-ch-ch

causes the others to stop

jaws dropped

in horror,

Dawn continues.

“Alexis, what’s wrong?”

Only now does she turn

from her crouched position beside the child’s chair.

Her eyes follow Alexis’ pointing, trembling finger.


Did she even see Adam

before the spray of bullets stopped her life?

Hearing her children’s screams,

did she lunge,

spreading her wool-flecked fingers

in vain?

Did she die trying to shield them

with her own small frame?

Did she wonder—

in that brief second between light and darkness—

if Juanita would like her present?


Bountiful, Utah

            Friday, January 11, 2013


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