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We need 24 hours of ellipses

"Pray for Martin" is written in chalk at a park near the home of Martin Richard in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston,Tuesday, April 16, 2013. 8-year old Martin was killed in the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday. (Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)

I have been searching just now to find a poem I remember studying in college. It was about the horror and destruction of war, and the line I remember is this: Ten years is a long time to fight a war...

In class, I remember we discussed the significance of the ellipses at the end of the line. The three dots. They symbolized the lack of words to describe or explain the horror. They represented silence, a falling into sadness and the void.

I searched for the poem, using the line I remember, and I cannot find it.

My memory must be misremembering the line, though I repeat it often. I thought of the line, and the ellipses today as I watched the commentary on the Boston Marathon bombings.

Some tried hard to explain it. Others said we won't let the bombers take away our events. So many words. I wish, after tragic events, we could have a 24-hour period of ellipses. Silences. A wordless falling into the sadness, the void.

Impossible, I know. And I have used almost 200 words here to express this point.


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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.