A poem written to commemorate a very sad event in the world.
Let life now stop, for just a day
And cease all laughter, work, and play
Declare a somber holiday
And hearken close to what I say:
Let schools be closed, let shops be barred
Let hearts be broken, souls be scarred,
Let playgrounds all be emptied out
Let no small children romp and shout
And let the videogames all freeze
As grief brings people to their knees.
Let no one think to log online
Except to blog “This is a sign…!”
Let restaurants serve a bitter fare
And malls be ghost towns everywhere
Let theatre critics cease reviews
Let it be on the evening news
Let there be no cars on the street
And homes are now a sad retreat
A grim reminder of life’s loss…
And brief the joys we come across
Let peace talks stop their chattering
And protestors their battering
Let countries put aside their hate
And feuding tribes their ire abate
Let all unite as nations mourn
As from this, a resolve is born
And even mighty presidents
Find this small crisis so intense
That Kings are called and Queens conferred
As all the world now gets the word
Let strangers stop and share their grief
Let homilies bring no relief
Let friends embrace, and stop to muse.…
“Where we you when you heard the news?”
Let all world leaders eulogize
And see this day through teary eyes
Let there be ceasefires in all wars
And government buildings lock their doors
Let mourning garb be worn worldwide
Let happy people run and hide
Break out the black--suits, hats and gloves
And NO BIRD SONGS but turtledoves
Let every flag be at half staff
Let no soul joke, or smile, or laugh
Let sadness choke each try at joy
(Let all the earth mourn my brave boy .. .)
And those who did not meet this lad
For that alone, are doubly sad
Let all the world hang down its head.
Have you not heard? My dog is dead.
GOD BLESS LITTLE MICKEY
I wrote this poem because I learned, after it happened, that this is quite a universal feeling. I learned it with the death of my dog, then my dear dad, then more dogs: a death transpires. It is a private death, a small death, an anonymous death--perhaps even an anticipated death. Yet the pain is beyond words.
And then, as you put one foot in front of the other, trying to go on with your life, you look around, and you are appalled that everybody else is just on with their lives, going to work and school, the movies and soccer, shopping and clubbing, lunching and laughing, nobody even realizing that the Greatest Dad in the World or the Greatest Dog in the World--in this case a little black and white rescue terrier--has just died. They just go right on with their lives as though this tragedy did not just happen. Without the slightest inkling that the world is the worse for this loss. How dare they. HOW DARE THEY. What gall.
So I wrote this poem. And I am here to tell you, that if you have lost someone you love, whether four footed, or walking on two legs, you are not wrong, to be appalled and galled, and angry that the world just keeps spinning, in spite of suffering a loss that is beyond measuring, beyond speaking.
In the words of John Donne, “Each man’s death diminishes me.” As does the death of one small dog. I keep asking myself, how could a paw so very small hold a human heart?
To all of you who mourn, I say this: You are not alone.
(This poem may be used freely if not-for-profit and if author is attributed. Please share it.)