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Friday, December 16, 2016


by Jean L. Kreiling

She's not sure that she should suspend
her vigilance, but keeping track
has done no good, has brought no end
to savagery.  As she looks back,
it seems that nothing else has made
a difference either:  votes or signs
or marches or laws disobeyed
or protests sung.  So she resigns
herself to silent grief and guilt,
her anger now an exercise
in mute restraint.  The tomb she's built
from watchful tears and numbered sighs
commemorates too many shames.
Let someone else keep counting names.

Author’s Note: The title of the poem is a remark overheard from an elderly activist.

Jean L. Kreiling’s first collection of poems, The Truth in Dissonance (Kelsay Books), was published in 2014.  Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, and she is a past winner of a New England Poetry Club Award, the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters Sonnet Contest, the String Poet Prize, and the Able Muse Write Prize.