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Wednesday, May 17, 2023


by Sister Lou Ella Hickman

cartoon by David Sipress

what is not in the news

is the invisible… 

those who change the channel

when the nightly report begins

announcing again the pop pop pop pop

and showing the single file

scurry under the hovering helicopter eye

this is not unconcern

but rather

the bone weary dailyness

hearing another father’s choking voice

seeing another mother’s blank stare

more children, more bodies riddled with lead


feel no guilt 

for you want to honor their story of stolen presence

when you listen and watch

yet tonight 

you just can’t

and the news won’t tell you—

be kind to yourself in your sorrow


Sister Lou Ella has a master’s in theology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and is a former teacher and librarian. She is a certified spiritual director as well as a poet and writer. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines such as AmericaUS Catholic, Commonweal, The Christian Century, PresencePrism, and several anthologies. She was a Pushcart nominee in 2017 and 2020. “Chavah’s Daughters Speak,” five poems from her book she: robed and wordless set to music by James Lee III, has been performed in New York City and Cleveland, Ohio.