Carlee Soto learning that her sister had died in the Sandy Hook School Shootings

Were you driving?

Cell phone rings

Kids in tow

Tears flowing

“Mom, what’s wrong?”

Did you pull over?

Did you tell them?

Or did you not?

“Nothing, honey.

Moms just crying.”


“Mom-mom just called.

Pop-Pop died.”


Were you at work?

“This isn’t good.

You thought to yourself

“Dad never calls me at work.”

It goes to voicemail.

“Call me ASAP”

Dad says.

Voice shaking.

You go to the bathroom

Return the call

Lock the doors.

“It’s your mom . . . .”


Was it in on your couch?

Searching your Facebook newsfeed

You see it.

“It’s a joke”

She can’t be . . .

You text your best friend

No response

It’s not a joke.

Oh, God. Oh, God.


Was it late at night?

2:00 am

Someone knocks on the door

The dog starts barking.

Everybody’s home.

So you thought.

“Are you the father of . . .”

“Yes”, you tell the officer.

“I regret to inform you . . .”


Perhaps you were there

The moment

The hysteria

When eyes lost life

You will never forget

That time, place

Where color faded to gray

When clarity became confusion

When life ended suddenly

And a part of you with it.

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