To the editor of THE EAGLE:

We have come to you in our hour of need, in pain, in fear, in uncertainty.

We have come In ambulances, in the cars of kind strangers,

In the arms of our parents and our partners,

Blood in our eyes, or tears, or eyes closed,

Hoping to be opened.

We have come In the summer mornings, in the middle of storms,

In the middle of the night, in the hours of celebration.

We have carried in the lives of our loved ones,

We have carried out our hopes, our resolutions, our truths.

We have run in and out in small services, bringing changes of clothes, cups of coffee, newspapers, tokens of life.

Some of us have devoted our wakefulness to your care.

We have been your blood, we have been your muscles,

Your nerve endings, your lungs, your bones.

We have given ourselves to you, to be your body,

That you may shelter and mother us all,

That your pulse may soothe our restless city

Of wounded. But tonight you are closed.

Tonight you sleep on your hill like a stone

That has sealed itself shut.

A temple of locks,

And we can hear no heartbeat in the night, And it keeps us awake, your absence.

There is nowhere to go in our need,

Our pain, our fear, our uncertainty.

To be locked out, to know there is no

Safety inside, no safe haven, Is to be afraid, is to be without a mother.

We mourn you, we ask questions

About this senseless death that did not come from within the body, this murder of our temple, our city’s mother.

At whom should we be angry?

For we are angry now.

What have we done to be abandoned?

We have nowhere to go to be healed

From this wound of neglect, wound of indifference.

In our greatest hour of need,

You have left us. Come back, restore our faith

While the faith is still in us,

Still pulsing, still giving us a voice.

Come back to the city that loves you.

CYNTHIA SAUNDERS QUINONES

North Adams