fear and silence


Somewhere, cages of lonely, terrified children
cry for their parents and fear for their lives.

Somewhere, day and night
children of war seek safety from bombs
that blast through homes, hospitals, schools

In broad daylight
between multiplication tables and vocabulary
school children endure active shooter drills
and, far too often, active shooters

A pregnant woman’s fetus is protected;
her child, especially if she is poor,
bears no political concern.

In plain sight
children drink lead-poisoned water
that eats their brains and stunts their growth.

At night
in the world’s wealthiest countries
children go to bed hungry.

Under a starry sky
a man walks into a dark room, touches a child,
and rapes that child into silence.

Children have become prey —
trophies for politicians, hunters, predators,
and mass murderers.

Civilization left the children behind
in cages, dark rooms, bombed cities,
countries decimated by disease and famine.
Now fear lurks in plain sight, and
a terrifying silence pierces the global night.