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I’m in my car, at the gas pump,
when the news comes on.
I’m flipping through Christmas CDs
choosing a soundtrack
for picking my daughter up from college,
For bringing her home for the holidays.

Like everyone, I am desperate
to touch my children’s faces,
Hear their voices
Right this minute.

My only magic trick of the day,
I conjure this: My cell phone rings.
My son, oblivious,
with a ridiculous favor to ask.
If only he knew: right now, he could ask
for Anything and the answer would be Yes.

I can’t stop listening as I drive.
There is nothing, no solace anyone can conjure
For those parents, those children, those teachers.
My mind keeps changing stations,
Searching for something I can bear.

I keep imagining
A mother whose child made it out.
A mother whose child ran when someone said, Run.
A mother who will never, never in her long life
Take another breath
Like the breath she takes when she sees him.

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