Sandy Hook, Fourth Anniversary By Mary O’Keefe Brady

Sandy Hook, Fourth Anniversary

In that split second
before the bullet finds its mark,

time is suspended
in all its innocence,

patty cake patty cake
baker’s man

Newtown’s kindergartners
never make it to first grade,

sliding and jumping
into this double dutch life,

one too many ropes in play
one too many damaged souls
for their young minds to comprehend.

Our old minds make no sense
of any of it. We still buy guns,
beat our breasts about the right to bear arms;

their right to bare arms to swing
on monkey bars in summer sunshine—

stolen in that split second.

By Mary O’Keefe Brady


Mary O’Keefe Brady lives and writes in New York’s lower Hudson Valley. She is a member of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and the Poetry Society of South Carolina. As a member of the Poetry Caravan, an outreach effort, she brings poetry to nursing homes and other venues in Westchester County, New York. She is the 2014 recipient of the Wildacres Writers Workshop Poetry Scholarship. Her chapbook, Time Out, was published by Finishing Line Press (2015). Her work has appeared in the 2015 Global Poetry Anthology of the Montreal International Poetry Prize, The Westchester Review, Storyteller, and the anthology Let the Poets Speak.

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