Circle of Quiet

She came to me before Mass yesterday. She had heard about it in the dressing room the night before. A teacher was killed, they told her.

Face upturned, eyes searching, "How was a teacher killed?"

"There was a shooting in a school."

"Only one teacher died?"

"No, not just one."

"Did any children die?"

"Yes, they did."

"How old were they?"

I remembered the list I'd just read, the one with all the names of young victims, the one with birthdates beside the names. 2006. Over and over again. The year Karoline was born. I looked into her upturned face, those huge, innocent blue eyes. I could not give voice to the word.



Tomorrow, we will tell you all about our Nutcracker. Today, we join others in the circle of quiet.