When I looked out my window before the attack,
I saw strangers walking their dogs
or exercising while deep in thought,
strangers I wasn't obligated to care about
who weren't obligated to care about me.
It was an understanding.
While I didn't consciously look at them unkindly,
I saw them from far more heartless eyes:
the eyes of indifference.
Now, only eight days later, the world
looks different from my window,
the strangers look different.
I forgot that life can suddenly change,
the past holding only invaluable memories,
the future like a winding river,
not knowing what the next turn brings.
I forgot that children could be left in daycare,
expecting their parents at day's end,
not knowing they would never see them again.
I forgot that the world's view
could crumble to the ground
in a few indiscriminating seconds.
I forgot that in the tug of war
between life and death,
death decides when it departs the victor.
Now through my window I see strangers like me,
with the same basic needs and wants.
Strangers I care about and who I know
care about me.