In Memory of Martin Richard

Over a week ago a tragedy occurred at the Boston Marathon, claiming the lives of three individuals and wounding hundreds of others. Even though I have no personal ties to the people affected or to the city of Boston itself, I can’t help but feel saddened by what was lost on that day.

It’s always hard hearing about the passing of a child, but it’s even harder when it has to happen to needlessly for unjust reasons. I don’t know why the death of Martin Richard has affected me so much, but it has, and I can’t help but feel for his parents and his siblings and everyone else who was impacted by this young boy’s short life. 

So with all of them in mind (and everyone else who lost someone that day) I wrote this:

To the mother of Martin Richard. 

Know you are not alone in these tough times, my prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family.

For Boston

In the moments that follow

As you hold on to the weariness of hope

Dark and empty and fleeting

There is nothing left of who you were

Only the unanswered cries

As you reached for the hand that holds

For the hand that saves

But these breaths you now breathe

And these words you now recite

Are lost in the drowning

And the tears and the pain and the hopelessness of it all

All you once believed is now rubble

The ashes of yesterday’s flames

The agony of tomorrow’s sweet departure

As life floats away in every direction

Screaming and calling the vanity of it all

The wreckage and the heartache

But remember and cherish their smiles

And the love and the joy and the freedom you shared

For brothers fall

And the heart withers away in desolation

But there was a time you danced in the streets

There was a time you sang with unabashed freedom

Free from all terrors

Free from all thoughts of loneliness

And all the shadowy places

And there was a time you once believed in gardens

And all the flowers that grew and bloomed

For from your hands grew life and life endlessly

Forever one with the earth and the rain and the brightest light

From your heart poured a love

A love that inspired and gave

And from the dirt did the sweetest rose bud

Crimson bright and a hope that would ever linger

On the eyes of all you touched with your gentle hands

Darling know that what was lost may never be retrieved again

And the wounds the scars the bitterness

May last a lifetime

And the ever sting of the hours

And the minutes

And the seconds

May be with you to the end of your days

The longing you feel

For the moments that will never be

And the laughs you will never hear

May never cease

But as I write these words

And you feel what you feel

I urge you

Most tender gardener

That you remember your blessed flowers

Where you were one with God

And you held creation

As well as all living things in the palm of your hands

And you called them beautiful

As they swayed with the winds of liberty

As they brought forth the colors of the spring

A window into the wonders of heaven

Into the very heart of God


As you lie awake in darkness

As you recall the screams and the horrors

A never-ending battle for hope’s lost children


As you cling to the emptiness of all that remains

As you wait for the cold of winter

So you may grow numb and frozen to it all

Oh most broken soul


The ones we lost and the ones we loved

For a day will come when we are all together again

In a place where love is boundless and our sorrow is no more


That they smiled and recognized the joys of living

That they loved and knew that life was worth it

That they if they could would urge you to carry on

But most of all remember

You once grew a garden

Full of life and flowers and freedom

And you called them beautiful


I know a poem isn’t much but it’s all I can do. 

P.S. If by some chance this reaches the Richards family I just want to say I’m so sorry for your loss, I truly am, and that during this season of mourning I pray God’s peace and comfort in your lives.


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