Former area resident’s poem touches Levys

Several days after Washington, D.C., intern Chandra Levy disappeared last year, Penny Chiarizia sat down at her computer in Woodbridge and typed out a poem, then sent it to the Levy family in California.

Chiarizia was surprised to learn her poem was printed on the program and read at Chandra Levy’s memorial service in Modesto, Calif., on Tuesday.

“The way I found out, I was watching the TV,” said the 52-year-old federal government retiree, who moved in January to Venice, Fla., for health reasons.

The remains of Levy were found by a man walking his dog in Rock Creek Park in the District on May 22. Earlier this week, the death was ruled a homicide by D.C. police.

Chiarizia has never lost a child. She has an adult daughter in Woodbridge and son in Maryland.

“I just can’t imagine your children going out the door and never coming back,” she said. She said she only thought the parents would see the poem. “I was just so honored. When I wrote this, I wrote it from the heart.”

The poem was done in one sitting, she said. She said she isn’t sure she can write a poem if asked. But when in the moment, and that “something has to really touch me, I can put my feelings on paper,” she said.

She wrote a poem after John F. Kennedy Jr. died in a plane crash off Long Island, N.Y. Her words moved her boss to tears, she said.

She wrote a poem after Sept. 11 and sent it to her mother. Her mother in turn gave it to a firefighter who then asked for copies and thousands were made up, Chiarizia said.

Chiarizia said she didn’t think the Chandra poem would come to this.


We do not know her, but feel that we do.

We pray everyday that she is returned to you.

Where is Chandra? Only god is to know.

But as time goes on, our fears only grow.

The picture of her is etched in our mind.

The beautiful, young lady — a twinkle in her eye,

Such a lovely young lady, who makes her family proud.

Who now express their grief in voices oh so loud.

Please find our daughter, and send her back home.

She is part of our family, and as all parents know

Each day your child is missing, fears continue to grow.

Our door remains open, waiting her safe return.

Our love for our daughter forever will burn.

Our faith is in the Lord, who gets us through each day.

From sunrise to sunset, as a family together we pray.

Where is Chandra? Only God is to know.

But as time goes on, our fears only grow.

Staff writer Chris Newman can be reached at (703) 878-8062.

Similar Posts