A Children's Vest in Memory of Sandy Hook Children


Four years ago on this day my grand-kids
were in kindergarten and first grade.
Four of them, cousins.
Fourth and fifth graders now,
getting ready for middle school.
Skiers. Good ones. They ski the steeps.

My wife and I were in the mountains
with immigrants celebrating Las Posadas
when we heard about the children at Sandy Hook.
Kindergarten. First Grade. We knew what
kindergartners looked like, and first graders.
They were like our grandchildren.

I won't show you photos of them now.
As they are. It would be too cruel.
So much has happened in our country.
We can't keep up with violence
or bullies or elections.
Four years ago my wife made a vest

for the children of Sandy Hook.
She put the names of the children
in the lining. The week she made it
one of our granddaughters was home
from school, sick, staying with us.
That week I made a little movie

of my wife making the vest.
They're in the movie as they were.
Those were some pretty dark days.
You know, America.
It's called The Chief Joseph Children's Vest.
The vest that no longer fits the grandkids.

Jim Bodeen
14 December2016

Vest Maker and Art-to-Wear Artist, Karen Bodeen creates a vest for the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School, while caring for a granddaughter recovering from a virus. Both threads honor children everywhere. Karen witnesses, listens to, and honors the children she sews for, as well as the child at her feet and in her lap.

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