They Pierced the Sky (A Lament for the Children)

April is National Poetry Month. I prepared to write a poem, but then I remembered one that I wrote back in December. I never shared it because the inspiration for it was so upsetting: The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — 20 children murdered.

Every week day I pull into a wonderland called School where I assist teachers, parents, and students. The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, crushed my heart not only because I’m a mother, but also because I’m a member of an elementary school community.

As I reread my poem this week, it occurred to me that the words also speak to a major issue that causes me grief: abortion.

Beginning lives and beating hearts, struck down before their time.

And back into the arms of God. Psalm 139:13-16

They Pierced the Sky

(A Lament for the Children)

It held back, no

it would not give in

the pushing, sudden weight against its morning light

“Tarry, ’til the day

of growth and challenge, shaped and set!”

But they came

and it groaned as something not prepared

“Tarry, tarry!”

It held fast against the fists

yet the cry was clear:

“Let us in.”

And it felt the battered spirits of them all

pushing, pushing into new life as before

hands first this time, to catch and tear.

The sky was pierced

they entered in

the children

at rest.

Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional and a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers.

2 Comments Write a comment

  1. Unfortunately, this poem is even more poignant today, the day after the Boston bombing. When I saw the picture of the darling 8-year-old boy, Martin, smiling at a camera with the hope and happiness of being 8, waiting for permanent teeth to grow in, I cried for the cheering little bystander whose life was cut short…and whose mother was in one hospital with a head injury while his 7-year-old sister’s leg had been amputated by surgeons who couldn’t save it.
    Some sorrows build on others, accumulating until we think we can’t stand any more, and all we can do is drop to our knees and pray.


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