In Memory of Willow Long

Somewhere inside us,
in that place where we keep such things
that we really don’t want to face
but must acknowledge,
we store the awareness
that the awful things that happen to others
could happen to someone we know.

In another place,
a place of long-fanged terror,
we keep the confession
that they could happen to us.

Some people live in that place
their whole lives
and others find themselves
swept into the agony of discovery:
waking from a nap
to find a seven-year-old daughter
missing,
hundreds of neighbors, friends and strangers
searching for thirty-odd hours,
the eventual discovery:
body found in a trash bag beside the road
a few miles away from the home.
The averted eyes of searchers and law enforcement
confirm by their silence
what they will not state
pending further investigation.

And then in what should have been
the ending of horror
and the beginning of tortured grief,
the brother of the mother
confessed that he is the murderer.

No one with any choice
would choose to know
to the slightest degree
what such agony of evil
must do to the heart, the spirit, the mind.

And yet we must try,
otherwise,
how can we mourn
with those who mourn,
weep with those who weep?

H. Arnett
9/11/13

P.S. If you are at all inclined to prayer, please pray for this family. Willow is the grand-niece of a very good friend of ours here in Kansas.

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About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Blair, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-five years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-one grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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