They filed in somber and awkward
loss etched on their faces and in the slump of their shoulders.
They filled the seats
not shy about sitting hip to hip,
tissue boxes strategically slid across the floor.
A line of blue uniforms
and blue badges stretched across
the back of the room:
officers, superintendent, mental health
all here to bear witness.
We began with Amazing Grace
and rolled out holy stories
that ranted about the unfairness of it all.
Why is this happening?
My bones are dust.
If you had been here,
my brother wouldn't have died.
And then I laid it out:
and now this suicide
the ugliness of it all.
We lit candles against the gathering darkness
and sang, "Sleep in heavenly peace."