Modern Criticisms


United States
36° 19' 15.1608" N, 78° 9' 23.1948" W

Je suis

Click, click

Black heels reverberate smoothly in sync with the

lithe body of a metal barrel

shining in the streetlights an omen

within the shadows of dark

night cloaking the

humming danger.


Held breath as the world goes silent

and, swelling,

bursts wide open in cacophonic harmony

as, surefire

metal birds find their targets

catching their prey in

a torrent of red


there are stains.

And blue and white,



We lay wrinkled sheets from our windows.

They drift, floating, and land

covering our pride, our dignity,

our blood.


Terrified to peep above the sill,

dust settling amongst a loud silence,

children cringe behind

their thoughts of playing war.


For Bernardino

Haven’t you heard the old man weep?

his daughter is locked inside, there’s a shooter there, I know, I saw it on my screen.

And the whole class collectively gasped, responding to beeps,

it’s a sorrow, how horrific, it could’ve been me.

I watched a physics demonstration with magnets, as closer and closer

one moved toward the other, tantalizingly near, we waited in silent ecstasy as

the two almost meet- almost- until one flies away

anxious in its spurning, it bursts - sorry, can’t stay;

Tears trickle down wrinkled skin as the old man

watches his phone, waiting to hear- she hasn’t texted in over an hour

and the hawks lurk, huge cameras in hand as the old man stares

and stares and stares and stares.

and I too,

we watch our screens, in silent ecstasy, but we also can’t meet

the old man’s weeping, we package away his sorrow

I write poetry and I bemoan the tragedy

and I turn to another, gasping

Haven’t you heard the old man weep?


This poem is about: 
Our world


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741