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THE FOG OF MOURNING by Sarah Carlson

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following poem, by Sarah Carlson, was composed shortly after the deadliest shooting in Lewiston, Maine, U.S.A. on October 25, 2023, in which 18 people were fatally shot, and 13 others were left injured. As of 2023, it was the 10th deadliest mass shooting in U.S history. 

The Fog of Mourning

with love to my home state of Maine

 by Sarah Carlson


We know what we know.

People were slain.

People were injured.

People experienced terror.

We are hurting.

We wait and wonder.


I had a sudden rush

 of tangled emotions this morning

after I read about the tender beings

who were killed in Lewiston.

I feel such empathy for them,

for their families,

for those who shared in their lives.

And then it went deeper as the words

“there one minute, gone the next” 

meandered through my mind.

Though it has been years,

and my husband died peacefully,

I can relate to a normal day 

that ends with sudden, 

catastrophic loss.

At first I felt guilty.

What right do I have to cry

 about my own loss

in the midst of this horrible crisis?

I knew to step outside,

take a breath,

be with the trees 

and the morning mist.

Slowly it dawned

that we are together

in the fog of mourning 

right now,

each in our own way.

How it dissipates

will ebb and flow and vary.

May we all

find spaces and places

to honor our feelings,

experience support,

share love and compassion

so the density of this fog 

can lighten

as time goes by.

Photography by the author, Sarah Carlson

Sarah Carlson
, M.ED, combines her unique poetic voice with photography of scenes from her outdoor adventures in her home state of Maine and other wild places. She has published three books that interweave her love of nature, journey toward wellness, and over 30 years of experience in the field of education. The newest one, Tender Light Softens was written throughout the pandemic and published by Golden DragonflyPress in October of 2022. Her work is full of grace, hope, and healing. Information about Tender Light Softens and her previous books - The Radiance of Change (2018) and In the Currents of Quiet (2020) - along with  ongoing work can be found here

*For submission guidelines, click here.*


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