This time of year has me and many others thinking of the Boston Marathon Bombing victims and all the madness that occurred in and around the city for a long time afterwards. While the entire world seemed energized and inspired by the Boston Strong phenomenon, I remember a collective pain and the long period of recovery.
Remembering The Boston Marathon Bombing
I was fortunate enough to participate in an installation at Boston City Hall remembering the Boston Marathon Bombing tragedy. My prose poetry piece, chosen by Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish, focused on the aftermath of the tragedy.
The sound of thunder was different in Boston that summer after 4.15.13. Getting on the T (Boston’s subway system) you were more apt to notice luggage and backpacks. The city changed somewhat and it definitely took time to heal.
Just like soldiers who do what they need to in battle, Boston lifted herself up. But returning to normalcy took longer than many realize.
Here are two of the pieces that were included:
The Rainiest June & The Hottest July (Excerpt #1)
Thousands of miles of city roads were the dark black lines of my heart. My mother had a pacemaker put in and everyone I met on the street reminded me how beautiful things used to be. I didn’t make time for the ocean. I sweat or got rained on. I cried. The rainiest June and the hottest July happened in Boston in 2013, the year the entire city untied and opened up her hidden wounds and the untreated tragedies untouched by triage nurses and the doctors who waited at emergency room doors. The rest of us looked down and wondered how to stop the continual stagger of courageous carrying on until the universe stood up and wept; until the universe seeped heat and anger from every sidewalk fissure. Eventually every storm will stop, every heat will cool. Except in 2013 when nothing could ever be the same. The world, stuck mere feet from finish lines, stared ahead and waited, their sneakers unremoved.
The Rainiest June & The Hottest July (Excerpt #2)
Boston, cut to ribbons, tied in ribbons, adorned with ribbons on CVS store window displays, thick with Boston Strong t-shirts and memorials had almost loosened the knot by the time I drove home. Spending the winter of 2013 in California ensured my safety at the end of the marathon, assured my phone rang in the lockdown nights when people three hours in the future needed a voice to sob to, and allowed my landlord to get the full value of their cable bill in April, my eyes red and swollen like explosions after CNN-filled sleepless nights. My girlfriend broke up with me at the start of June when I got home. She never told me why, but I understood it had to happen. Because I couldn’t ever understand anything again.
Finishing Line and A Race Riot
I also created a pop expression collage piece after the Boston Marathon Bombing. The imagery here layers the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz against various imagery of other runners, medals, and violence.
The Tin Man, who discovers he has a heart,
The vertical cropped version I titled “Finishing Line” due to the endurance and heart of the city.
The larger version with three images of The Tin Man, I call “A Race Riot.”
Good luck to the runners and city this and every year. There is nothing like the Boston Marathon to announce the coming of better weather, the beautiful spring, and hope.
Visit my online store now to see the prints, cards, and designs I created in honor of the Boston Marathon Bombing.