Requiem for the Children
of Uvalde, Texas
Angel of Death, you came down into Uvalde, Texas,
You took from the earth those sweetest of saplings,
that nourish what small lives we have.
What requiem of music, of words can utter
the grief of a mother for her children?
What terror is worse for a father that to carry
his grief of a dead child in his heart?
We are now but shadows of grief,
among the children we lost.
It was not even mid-day in May—
“The madness of May”,
When these children celebrated “Footloose and Fancy,”
dressed up with fancy or fun shoes,
The sun was not yet full of the greatness light.
11: 32 AM… the sun had not risen to its zenith,
Tuesday was to be a celebration of life—
Children of Uvalde, Texas, they like endless small suns,
that we revolve around with hope and expectations,
had not reached their zenith of living,
At 11: 32 AM, the Angel of death came.
How do we explain to the living…
Their voices, their playfulness, their expectations,
Shattered with the terrible rain of bullets flying,
like dark hail into their young lives.
O Grief, grief that cannot speak, which has no words,
Only memory does not shatter the vessel,
that holds our bones and blood, but it cannot hold sorrow,
For the children who have left us.
Those enduring children who will follow us,
like great heroes and heroines,
out of a play from Aeschylus,
amid fratricide and endless wars, in a dying country.
11:32 AM in May, school would soon be closed,
for Summer with all its naïve freedom,
How the children looked forward to swimming, running,
Kicking a soccer ball across an open field,
In the bright noon-day sun.
There was no jealousy among them,
For they were children of the mid-day hour,
There was no hatred nor pettiness,
in the playful look of their eyes.
There was no mother like mythological Niobe,
Whose children were slaughtered,
Because she boasted she had more children
than the gods,
Mothers and children at Uvalde were one.
The children in Uvalde had names like gentle streams,
or the sounds of windy grass upon a hill…
Amerie, Xavier, Uziyah, Jose, Lexi, Tess Marie, Nevaeh,
Eliahana, Jailah, Annabell Guadalupe, Jacklyn, Layla,
Alexandria, Alithia, Jaycee, Makenna,
Maite, Miranda and Rojelio.
Noontime never arrived.
The Angle of death came, but two protectors
held fast like Homeric warriors, Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles,
Their bodies as their shields to protect,
Their children of Uvalde,
I have seen these great suns before a darken sky.
Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.