I confessed to tears
at news of slaughter
from my old neighborhood
but in reality didn’t cry

I stopped crying years ago

Now I store suffering
behind my eyelids
and wonder
when the storage will be full

And what will happen then

Meanwhile I realize
it would take real courage
to admit being unable to cry
or ask for help

So that’s not what I’m doing here


  1. Love this. I relate and love the twist at the end. Numbness, disgust, horror. Sadness in there somewhere.

  2. ...otherwise there ain't no way/you make it through to fight another day/you want to have clear vision/not clouded by tears...
    From my poem "Runner." I'm on your wavelength.

  3. Oh, this is a powerful sentiment — the tears go dry when such incidents happen time and again and we generate a threshold of suffering. Wonder what would happen indeed "when the storage will be full".
    Well penned!

  4. Some tears are shed internally.. often the hardest to swallow.

  5. This poem is word perfect for its swelling, and swollen emotions. It speaks as it tries to name, in understanding, what defies language. And it pointedly asks - troubling questions - for when does saturation become too much - and what will happen then. And is there strength in asking for help? Of course, but when collectively, we can't seem to share any answers for the understanding, when there are no words left for the shattering, then what do we do? How can it be of any comfort?

    Perhaps this is when we most need to begin - again - to actually look into each other's eyes, deeply - and to touch - remember, what it means to actually feel another's skin, to know blood pulses and heart's beat - perhaps then, in not being afraid to see and read and feel the wealth of emotions, face to face - even in a stranger's face - we will be less afraid. And maybe no words are needed. Silence perhaps. And then, we can collective, one person at a time, within our own communities, actually come to together - and do what we need to do - which has to be, more than just "survive" - but also dream, in action.

    A very powerfully written poem Marian. And certainly, there are millions around the globe, who equally feel the shock and horror.

  6. The tears have ceased to flow a long time ago... and we are many wishing for the ability to cry

  7. I stopped crying long ago but then my mother died and the well began to overflow. I think of the shooting in Pittsburh with this poem. I think of all the senseless violence and wonder when it will stop, when we will need to stop shedding tears. An excellent write.

    1. I used to live in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh where the murders happened at the Tree of Life synagogue.

  8. I have often heard the expression that "they are beyond crying" when the sadness or horror goes beyond tears to desperation.

  9. Loved it! Read it again! Bookmarked it!

  10. This is a hard-hitting poem, Marian, that many people can relate to. It isn't that we become immune to tragedy or that we don't have the tears, it's the actual crying - we're all cried out.

  11. To cry and to appear sorrowful is not make-belief but it is real. It is just that sad sentiments seem to have been set aside a long time ago!


  12. A fine confession. Does each tragedy thin our courage further and edge us deeper into our trapped selves? I wonder. And the media bullhorns just seem to deafen us further. But know your fellow poets by reading your poem do help carry the grief. Who has that courage? We do, I think, as the next news queues up.

  13. Marian, where is there help? Perhaps a gigantic movement, "Follow the Golden Rule" which is "Love your neighbor as yourself."

  14. I know how it feels to be so broken but unable to cry. Thank you for sharing this, it really moved me.

  15. "Now I store suffering
    behind my eyelids
    and wonder
    when the storage will be full"

    Such beauty and pathos in such pithy lines! Bravo!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!