The Heart

20 children no longer scream
in a place that their parents thought safe
And 20 children died by a knife
two years ago in a faraway place.

Was it 178 kids that were killed
by the drones near Pakistan?
And ones and two’s all over the world
With guns and knives and hands?

How many children died in a car,
Someone drunk at the wheel?
How many children died from the cold?
Their little toes could not feel.

Governments and floods and citizens too
Mentally disabled and sociopaths
Children have died since children were born
And we think policy change will help.

How many children were killed by two bombs?
During World War II?
How many children were killed in the flood?
That God sent upon the earth.

People get angry and shocked and scared
And grief tells two lies so hard to resist,
“I am the only one right here.”
And, “Never, ever again.”

But when the weapons are taken they don’t go away
They merely change hands in the night
And the hearts of men are still just the same
And there, is always the fight.

But wherever you are, know this is true,
“You are not alone.”
And whatever you scream for someone to do
Remember your own heart.

We break when we see the little ones die
In Sudan and Rwanda and France
In China, Australia, and Chicago too
We cry for the loss in our hearts.

And nothing makes sense.

I want it to stop, but I have seen
The record thousands of years long
In every place in every time
Something always is wrong.

That something cannot be addressed at all
If one refuses to see
Where the problem truly lies
And how it came to be.


11 thoughts on “The Heart

  1. “I can’t save them all, so why save one”.
    It seems you say “nothing can be done”.
    I say let’s start by saving one, and go from there.
    Nihilism will not get us anywhere.

        1. I’m hardly offended. And I’m not offended most likely because I communicated clearly and didn’t keep anything to myself. And I am well aware of the dangers of both “fatalism,” and “nihilism.” It is true, nihilism is not constructive and is very unhelpful… but how many nihilists really exist out there? I mean, I brushed my teeth this morning and I’m about to have breakfast…

  2. A very profound poem. It’s hard to know where to start when then are so many crimes against humanity being committed every single day. Which persecution do we start with first? Our heart has so much love that it almost makes it impossible to know which direction to turn first.

  3. You have said something that needs to be heard…it’s easy to be pained about the most recent tragedy and measure how much to feel unsafe in accordance to how near the event is to our own “safe haven”…but it is the forgetting that in part helps perpetuate these truly tragic events.

  4. the world wakes up to a problem when its blared all over the media, and then forgets and moves on in a weeks time. they don’t care to realize that it’s has been there always and hasn’t gone away yet. people care only when their security is threatened, when it happens closer to home. guess it’s basic human psychology. wt with all the ‘big’ things of life, we just don’t have enough time and space in our lives for such ‘trivial’ issues.

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