Scene4-International Magazine of Arts and Culture
Patrick Walsh-Scene4 Magazine

Patrick Walsh

For the Newtown Dead

    Kill the poys and the luggage! ‘tis expressly

    Against the law of arms: ‘tis as arrant a piece of

    Knavery, mark you now, as can be offer’t; in your

    Conscience, now, is it not?

    –Fluellen, Henry V, Act 4, scene 7


    All my pretty ones?

    Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?

    What, all my pretty chickens and their dam

    At one fell swoop?

    –Macduff, Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 3


Their little bodies are gone down in the ground —

Mere babes swaddled one last time

In gauze and sutures and cotton plugs,

Accompanied by favorite toys and teddy bears,

Threadbare bunnies, Barbie dolls, and baseball caps.

December’s soggy earth absorbed the lot:

Twenty coffins, each one no bigger than a rifle case.


Too sweet, those tender hearts, to turn into

Angry ghosts. And to gnash with what?

Milk teeth stained six or seven times

With frosting on a birthday cake. Too mild,

The helpless ones, to thrash with indignation

At the blued-steel the grown-ups made

That shot them down to darkness; too young

To howl at their betrayal by elders

Enamored of death and its easiest of instruments;

Too pure to cry for revenge; too innocent

To comprehend the thousand acts of cowardice,

From Congress and the courts to the corner barber shop,

That conspired to make their last moments

A brief fit of tiny squeals and trembling,

Like rabbits shaking in the hunter’s clutch.

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Patrick Walsh served four years as an infantry officer in the 25th Infantry Division. His articles and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and newspapers both here and abroad.
More at his Website:
He is a columnist and Senior Writer for Scene4.
For more of his columns and other writings, check the Archives.

©2018 Patrick Walsh
©2018 Publication Scene4 Magazine




January 2018

Volume 18 Issue 8

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