eating the heart out

The streets are quiet,
eerie, the walls blank.
I remain inside.

My windows are noisy
with things I can’t see.
I rarely reply to them
because the response flies
away on the wind,
storm tossed and clouded,
darkened by rain
and the fading light.

What would I say
to the ghosts
of the children?–
the ones not
on the playground not
on the streets no
longer living
in an apartment, a house,
a country, a land–
the ones no one can
find anywhere?

How to say the word
and to also shield them
from its consequences.
How to explain
why and how
we have come to be

living in this uncertain
tangle of lies
ignorance violence–
a place full
of humans unable
to even acknowledge
or to bridge
the rising waters.

The ones who
would rather drown
than make amends.

Sherry at earthweal has reminded us of all the grief consuming the world, and asks us to write about it. I wrote a version of this poem first in the midst of New York’s early pandemic. I’ve revised it a bit, but the ghosts of the children have not gone away.

24 thoughts on “eating the heart out

  1. This is a wonderful, heartfelt response to the prompt….what to say to the children, indeed. Their ghosts watch us from the spirit world: “They found us.” It took too long. I am struck by the lines about humans being unable to acknowledge or bridge the rising waters…………here we are in a heat wave unlike anything we have ever experienced AND THEY ARE STILL CLEARCUTTING, either not connecting the dots between that and the climate crisis, or being wilfully in denial because money now trumps survival. Gah.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Sherry. Yes, the blindness to what is right there, here and now, is chilling. You’re exactly right, they’ve decided that money is more important than survival.


  2. All the children lost beneath this great wave of change, the pathos is almost killing in itself. The magnitude of their collective ghost the grief of the age. A futile, almost fatal helplessness. Maybe what we craft that speaks to the enormity of it is insufficient, but it helps us hear the bells. Thanks. – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘How to explain
    why and how
    we have come to be

    living in this uncertain
    tangle of lies’

    This is my exact problem now for me with my kids. I so want them to have a future in a world worth living in!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How do we explain to the children? The world is filled with evil and people with personal agendas. There must be a way to find the path that leads us 7 generations out and we must cling to hope, always.


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