Thinking this week about the women gunned down in the L’Ecole Polytechnique massacre in 1989. I lived on Saltspring Island, then, and had just been to Victoria with my partner to purchase Christmas gifts (I recall we’d bought Meg a gaudy hot pink and black and sequinned dress we hated but could barely wrench her out of); we heard the news as we walked in the door and stood stunned.
“The women killed in Montreal had robust lives and families and fiancés. They had mad skills and plans and dinner dates. Endings that are tragic and wasteful and rendered by males too pathetic to create their own stories do not nullify those aborted narratives.” –blogger Donna Decker
Tomorrow, Dec 6th, is a day for remembering. My mother-in-law, Wakako, died suddenly on this date. I think often about the state of the world for women, and I think about the state of Wakako’s world, and how her life would have been different had she been born later–how many opportunities she would have had. Her death devastated our family, and I wish we could go back, go back, go back, and undo her loss and all the loss that followed on its heels. Wakako, I miss you, and your granddaughters miss you.
I wrote a poem about the women killed in the Killeen, TX, Luby’s Cafeteria shooting (Wiki), which also targeted women.
luby’s cafeteria, killeen, tx
by Jane Eaton Hamilton
he hated women it was simple an explanation it was evidence he was a loner you know the sort of guy we all know the sort of guy that’s why we don’t walk the night streets
nobody stopped to say oh maybe I’ll be gunned down if I eat there thanks anyhow I’ll take a bagged lunch to work thanks again cafeterias mid-day give me the willies
fluke you say nuts crazy wacko women are basically safe he just lost it he wanted to make a statement (on the bodies of women) I am covered in graffiti footprints of fear and blood and what it’s like to live hunted
it’s true we’ve gone places into boardrooms into factories into nurseries with your children into engineering departments into cafeterias but
one woman with red hair was raising a blueberry muffin to her lips and another was sipping coffee with extra sugar she didn’t like milk