I can’t believe the terrible tragedy in Orlando happened more than a year ago. Time moves so, so quickly. I was looking through some old files and found a poem I wrote at the time. I figure there’s nothing to lose in sharing it again. Lest we forget!

 

They Danced.

Swaying under flashing lights to pounding beats.

The night was young,

Or old,

Or not night all. Morning really.

And they danced.

Boyfriends.

Girlfriends.

Friends.

Mothers and sons.

They danced,

While the bartenders mixed drinks.

They were young.

Like the night

Like the morning.

 

Crack crack!

 

Was that a sound,

Alien,

Above the pounding?

 

They danced.

Uncertain now.

And then they stopped.

Dancing stopped, and terror began.

The wet thud of bullets,

And bodies fell into a different dance.

A mother stands protection.

Uncaring, unswerving, unloving

Bullets cut her down.

And her son.

They were young.

All they wanted was to dance.

And laugh.

The bullets stole their laughter.

And their youth.

Their lives.

The music pounded on.

 

Cellphones texted pleas and love and

“Help me, Mom.”

But Mom wasn’t there,

Only the man with the gun.

 

Later, in the silence of after,

When emergency services pick through bodies.

Sacred silence broken with broken songs.

Relatives and friends.

Desperate to know.

Ringtones fall silent, one by one,

As hope flees where all but hope had fled.

 

The hate didn’t end that night.

Forty nine angels added to the host.

Yet still they were denounced.

Holy men hating.

“They were unholy.”

“Abominations.”

“The world is best rid of their sickness.”

“They deserved to die.”

 

They were young.

All they wanted was to dance.

They deserved to laugh.

They deserved to live.

 

A hundred angels came,

As they said goodbye,

And drowned the hate

With amazing grace

 

Good night

God bless

They Danced.

Swaying under flashing lights to pounding beats.

The night was young,

Or old,

Or not night all. Morning really.

And they danced.

Boyfriends.

Girlfriends.

Friends.

Mothers and sons.

They danced,

While the bartenders mixed drinks.

They were young.

Like the night

Like the morning.

 

Crack crack!

 

Was that a sound,

Alien,

Above the pounding?

 

They danced.

Uncertain now.

And then they stopped.

Dancing stopped, and terror began.

The wet thud of bullets,

And bodies fell into a different dance.

A mother stands protection.

Uncaring, unswerving, unloving

Bullets cut her down.

And her son.

They were young.

All they wanted was to dance.

And laugh.

The bullets stole their laughter.

And their youth.

Their lives.

The music pounded on.

 

Cellphones texted pleas and love and

“Help me, Mom.”

But Mom wasn’t there,

Only the man with the gun.

 

Later, in the silence of after,

When emergency services pick through bodies.

Sacred silence broken with broken songs.

Relatives and friends.

Desperate to know.

Ringtones fall silent, one by one,

As hope flees where all but hope had fled.

 

The hate didn’t end that night.

Forty nine angels added to the host.

Yet still they were denounced.

Holy men hating.

“They were unholy.”

“Abominations.”

“The world is best rid of their sickness.”

“They deserved to die.”

 

They were young.

All they wanted was to dance.

They deserved to laugh.

They deserved to live.

 

A hundred angels came,

As they said goodbye,

And drowned the hate

With amazing grace

 

Good night

God bless

They Danced.

Swaying under flashing lights to pounding beats.

The night was young,

Or old,

Or not night all. Morning really.

And they danced.

Boyfriends.

Girlfriends.

Friends.

Mothers and sons.

They danced,

While the bartenders mixed drinks.

They were young.

Like the night

Like the morning.

 

Crack crack!

 

Was that a sound,

Alien,

Above the pounding?

 

They danced.

Uncertain now.

And then they stopped.

Dancing stopped, and terror began.

The wet thud of bullets,

And bodies fell into a different dance.

A mother stands protection.

Uncaring, unswerving, unloving

Bullets cut her down.

And her son.

They were young.

All they wanted was to dance.

And laugh.

The bullets stole their laughter.

And their youth.

Their lives.

The music pounded on.

 

Cellphones texted pleas and love and

“Help me, Mom.”

But Mom wasn’t there,

Only the man with the gun.

 

Later, in the silence of after,

When emergency services pick through bodies.

Sacred silence broken with broken songs.

Relatives and friends.

Desperate to know.

Ringtones fall silent, one by one,

As hope flees where all but hope had fled.

 

The hate didn’t end that night.

Forty nine angels added to the host.

Yet still they were denounced.

Holy men hating.

“They were unholy.”

“Abominations.”

“The world is best rid of their sickness.”

“They deserved to die.”

 

They were young.

All they wanted was to dance.

They deserved to laugh.

They deserved to live.

 

A hundred angels came,

As they said goodbye,

And drowned the hate

With amazing grace

 

Good night

God bless