the difference between seven years and eternity

how many seasons have been ruined by death

the same children who wish for a white christmas
are the same kids who die driving drunk on the highways
on christmas eve, on the side streets near your house,
or are found curled up frozen on the front lawn
with breath caught in their crystallized throats

and every year when kids are praying for new video games
and all grandmothers want a sweatshirt embossed with
‘world’s best grandma’ even though it may be a lie
we’ll think of those kids shot with bullets,
how no one touched their bodies for hours where they
lay huddled up outside the school.

and when the younger kids come next year to your house
caroling and wanting to sell you cheap chocolate,
you won’t come to the door.

how silly our differences seem then,
how petty our workplace fights and family brawls
how small the world really is
how sad it is to go on living
when the dead are dead
and the last light is turned off
in a house where kids used to drink hot cocoa
and shake wrapped boxes to guess what’s inside them

how so much can happen in six, seven years
so many memories can be made
and yet it’s still not long enough,

it’s never long enough.


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