Empty Chairs

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A deluded and deranged miscreant.
Rode in a rented Ryder truck,
Sadistically opposed to his government,
He delivered a two-ton bomb.

After parking the fateful vehicle,
With time fleeting and fuses lit,
He fled to his car,
Parked, not far away.

Hearing the explosion, he made his escape,
With a gleam in his eye.
One hundred sixty-eight victims died,
Leaving countless loved ones behind.

April 19, 1995,
A date that lives in infamy.
The guilty one was caught that very day,
And eventually paid his life for the reprehensible deed.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial
Now graces the ground
Where the Alfred P. Murrah
Building once stood.

A lone American Elm tree
Survived the blast,
A symbol of resilience,
And the will of mankind.

Hopes of closure for the victim’s families
Followed the perpetrator’s death six years later.
But closure will not fill the empty chairs
Left in the footprint of the building.

Empty Chairs – James Tate

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