Four Days After






Four days after the eight year old boy

Who came to watch his dad run a very long race

Was killed

And his sister lost her limb

Chaos is our companion.

Spring is ripe.

Daffodils thick along the banks of the Charles

Bright yellow as the police vests on every corner

The merry-go-round glistens in the Common

Opposite the encampment of army fatigues and Humvees

Sirens float on the breeze like birdsong.

We snuggle in solidarity.

We walk carefully

We call our loved ones

‘Stay safe’ is our salutation of choice

We buy molasses cookies for a buck to support One Fund relief

Comfort food for a discomforting time

Were people so angry one hundred, one thousand years ago?

Did they fantasize about killing indiscriminately?

Or are we humans becoming less stable, less sane?

It hardly matters

Killing was harder then.

No easy bombs available to ignite a flash of hate into such tragedy

We have suspects, two young men

Compiled from human and digital witnesses

Ethnic immigrants ten years in Cambridge

High schooled with my own children, who recall them vaguely

Four days after the bombs explode

Investigation reaches a head

The suspects stir, we pursue

Car chases, hijackings, cop killed, store robbed, one boy dead

Entire city clamped down

We breathe shallow, each in our own house, peering timidly at the grey streets

Cop cars sweep through every five minutes

Helicopters hang overhead

Hours pass, the city grows restless but only officials move

Second bomber found, wounded, arrested alive

City bursts with joy and celebration

The ordeal is past

A bizarre feat to celebrate, but we need it

Boston’s been remarkable.

The speed of response, the medical care, the citizenry’s patience

Champions under pressure

We hold our head high among the pantheon of place-named terror.

Columbine, Oklahoma City, Newtown

I fantasize about running the marathon next year.

We all do.

To show that we can

To demonstrate that terror will not stop us

About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog,, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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5 Responses to Four Days After

  1. Pat says:

    Thank you!

  2. Liz says:

    It was interesting to read your poetry as opposed to your regular writing. Very powerful.

  3. Loretta Artus says:

    You probably came close to writing the thoughts of many in Boston thanks to your ability to put thoughts on paper. I thought of you and wondered where you were at the time.

  4. Dick Chertow says:

    Clap clap clap clap (my version of applause to go with the tear in my eye)

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