Today has been called a National Day of Mourning for the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting earlier this week. We are asked to pray and to wear the colors of the school, maroon and orange. I wasn't thinking about those colors when I was getting dressed this morning, so when I got to school I looked through my knitting club yarn stash and pulled out the maroon and orange yarn. I braided a wrist band and I am wearing it today. I made a few extra for anyone who asks. When the young students ask about it I will say it is a prayer for peace and to support the students in Virginia who are working for peace and hope. I don't want to talk to the young ones about school violence because it is too scary and it is something their parents should be doing, but I want to spread a message of hope that people can come together, work for peace in the face of violence and support each other with prayers when tragedy strikes.
I was deeply touched to read Nikki Giovanni's words at the convocation at Virginia Tech on Tuesday. She is a writing teacher on the faculty there and I love her poetry. For my Friday Poetry submission today I want to quote some of what she said:
"The Hokier Nation embraces our own
with open heart and hands
to those who offer their hearts and minds.
We are strong and brave
and innocent and unafraid.
We are better than we think,
not quite what we want to be.
We are alive to the imagination
and the possibility we will continue to invent
the future through our blood and tears,
through all this sadness.
We are the Hokies.
We will prevail, we will prevail."
Weekly Reader has a blog. They are posting about Giovanni's poetry today too and inviting others to read her work and post comments on it. I offered a link to my haiku written on Tuesday after hearing the news. I invite you to post your response as well and share in the hope and comfort that poetry offers.
I believe the best response to violence is words of peace. Coming together gives us strength through hope.
The Poetry round up is at Big A, little a.