Five point Two Miles


United States
40° 14' 29.382" N, 75° 17' 1.6296" W

An April day, about 60 degrees,
Beautiful weather, sun shining, light breeze.
The birds were all singing a wonderful song,
A day like today, nothing could go wrong.

BC was up early, at least for a Monday,
But we had no classes, it was the start of a fun day!
The parties and drinking were favorites for some.
Others, like me, lined the streets next to alum.

It’s Marathon Day, like Boston’s own Mummer’s.
We stand yelling for all the Marathon Runners,
“It’s the top of the hill; MILE 21!
Keep going; you’ve got it! You’re almost done!”

It’s afternoon now, and my friends need to eat.
The dining hall packed; we try finding a seat.
Except no one is sitting; the hall’s almost silent.
Please, tell me they’re kidding; the news is too violent.

The TV plays the scene again and again.
The bombs go off and volunteers run in.
We have to get out, it won’t go away.
What happened to our wonderful day?

Where is Taylor, and Alan, and Dana, and Kate?
What about Caroline, and Michael, and Nate?
Did you see Kristen earlier today?
Could she have been at that finish archway?

Chaos unfolds as campus falls quiet.
Glued to the TV, our shock is not private.
We wait to hear more, asking how did this happen?
Wishing we’d hear something from the police captain.

We can’t accept it; this is our town.
And it’s nothing like when the towers fell down.
We talk and talk, trying to make sense,
But right now everything is too intense.

I wish I could cry, yell, scream, or shout.
Instead I shut down, like it’s lights-out.
I pray for answers, sitting in church;
Failing to find them, I continue to search.

I feel overwhelmed, I can’t even explain.
Friends from home don’t get it, as hard as they feign.
Days continue to pass, and they can move on,
But here at BC, it isn’t just gone.

Finally I find words to say how I feel:
I’m worried, and still think how is this real?
I’m so proud of my city, so “Boston Strong,”
But I feel even more guilty, for I don’t belong.

My friend tells me I’m wrong; I’m allowed to be scared,
But what she just doesn’t get is all those despaired.
I have all the limbs; I wasn’t right there;
I didn’t see what they saw; I won’t have that nightmare.

So why do I get to be worried and anxious?
Because all I can think is, I should be gracious.
And I am, really, I thank God I’m alright;
I just don’t feel I should be such a sight.

I don’t feel I’m worthy to feel the same as those hurt,
But no matter the words, I still feel little comfort.
When it comes down to it all, I can honestly say,
Five point two miles is still miles away.


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