Laid in rows outside the school, flowers in bud
wreathed in cellophane. They’ll not bloom now.
Hundreds of children lie in the water, under
the hull of the boat. Only their texts escaped,
rising like bubbles from final breaths. This
may be my last chance to say I love you.
Parents, grandparents, weep at Easter’s tomb,
sealed with steel. Blossom wilts, tired as hope.
Teenaged neighbours circle the school, clasp hands,
heads bowed. They leave flowers and chocolate eggs
no one will want to eat. Stay Alive, say the labels, but
no one can roll back the weight of what has happened here.
Ansan The town of missing children