Bluffton: 2 March 2007
The last day before spring break, and there was time in the morning to do
nothing but drink coffee and watch the sun climb up, liquid gold blobs through
bare branches, toward the sky which promised to be blue. March had begun; the
snow was gone except for a few piles of dirty ice. The creek ran full of
Near the library I met Kathy Dickson – we’re celebrating women’s
voices at a reception on the thirteenth, I said; would you read a few of your
She smiled, pleased to be invited. Oh, Susan, I guess you didn’t know.
The edges of her eyes blurred as she held up the sign: classes cancelled. Prayer
gathering in Founders. 10:00.
One minute ago the day had been carefully scheduled. Now: a blank.
On the third floor of Centennial, Megan, with wet-clotted eyes, talked
with Lynda, who’d started class at 8:00 am, knew something was wrong,
couldn’t figure it out until a student told her. Megan searched the internet
and found a photo of the bus lying on its side with its windows smashed. Lynda
searched her email for the list of baseball players – young men who were
supposed to live forever.
On Megan’s computer screen we could see that some were being loaded on
to stretchers, some still pulling each other out through the jagged-edge