Where in the World Are You?

When I heard about the explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the first thing I did was call my people in Boston to make sure they were okay. They were, but I was nearly speechless with sorrow…again. On 9/11 I was living in New York when the twin towers fell. I arrived in Tokyo 10 days before 3/11. This morning I woke up to the news that there had been an explosion in a town called West, Texas. I got a call from my people across the country and around the world, wondering how close I was to the blast. I explained that this town was where I had stopped many times to get gas, take a bathroom break and buy delicious kolaches to snack on. It’s about 2 hours from where I live, the halfway mark on the road to Austin. “I’m safe.” I said

When tragedies occur we immediately think of our loved ones who may be in harms way. When they are safe we give thanks. For all the people who lose their loved ones it is an unimaginable heartbreak. Our collective grief binds us all. Today I am remembering the friendly faces and outstretched hands offering me a fresh from the oven golden delicious kolache in the tiny town of West, Texas and give thanks for those who are safe.


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About Shay Youngblood

Shay Youngblood is the author of novels, plays, essays and poetry. Her work has appeared in Oprah, Essence, Black Book and Good Housekeeping Magazines. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Pushcart Prize for fiction, a Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, several NAACP Theater Awards, and a New York Foundation for the Arts, Sustained Achievement Award. Her short stories have been performed at Symphony Space and recorded for NPR's Selected Shorts. Ms. Youngblood received her MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. She has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in the eastern Caribbean, as an au pair, artist's model, and poet's helper in Paris, and as a creative writing instructor in a Rhode Island women's prison. She was a Japan U.S. Friendship Commission Creative Artist Fellow (2011) and Dallas Museum of Art, Writer in Residence (2013).