“Orlando” has been published in the 2018 Winter issue of Pen Woman magazine, a national publication of the oldest literary organization for women in the US.
I have driven through you,
I have stayed in your city—
Visited Disney with my daughter.
Still… Orlando, I had to be
almost three thousand miles away
to be touched by you,
to be at the edge of tears.
The Rose Bowl Parade, bands marching,
flower-filled floats, the pageantry, then
you arrive in a rainbow of bloom,
white stars on a blood-red sea,
a dove rising. The message—
Honor and Remember Orlando.
A cold and shrouded January sky,
a slow procession as the crowd
claps chilled hands. Hearts fill
and spill for you, Orlando.
I was horrified after the shooting,
glued to the screen as the tragedy
unfolded, yet no tears fell,
Orlando—until this flower-filled
morning of hope and healing,
at the beginning of this New Year.
Lorraine Walker Williams