Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.


For a Sandy Hook Child, With Butterflies

for treble-voice choir (SSA) and piano

Year:  2022   ·  Duration:  3m 15s

Year:  2022
Duration:  3m 15s

David Hamilton

Composer:   David Hamilton

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: pages 1–3 of score

See details ➔


To borrow items or hire parts please email SOUNZ directly at


The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School (Connecticut, USA) in 2012 was one of the highest profile of these appalling events. Twenty-six died that day, including six school staff, before the shooter took his own life.

Michael Burch’s poem doesn’t specifically reference the events of the day, but instead presents us with a kind of metaphor, perhaps asking us where fragile things go to find places of safety, away from tragedy.

Of the poem, the poet says:

I wrote the original poem for a young woman I dated very briefly. She committed suicide, later. I was trying to find a way to express what I felt, and the question “Where does the butterfly go?” came to me. Where do butterflies go, with their frail wings and antennas, to escape thunderstorms, hail, sleet, ice? It seemed like the perfect metaphor. Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime metaphor. Later, when children and teachers at Sandy Hook elementary school perished at the hands of a serial murderer, I dedicated the poem to them. This is a poem I wish there was no need to write.

Michael R. Burch (b.1958) is an American poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Beth and two outrageously spoiled puppies. Burch's poems, translations, essays, articles, reviews, short stories, epigrams, quotes, puns, jokes and letters have appeared in many publications.

Commissioned note

Written for Cigno Voce (Westlake Girls High School) and conductor Rachel Carson

Text note

Text by Michael R. Burch