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We need 24 hours of ellipses

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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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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