“Coping” by P.H. Crosby

P.H. Crosby


how it eats at you, the news, always it’s in the news,
not even a story needed, just a snippet of headline
finds you scrubbing a little harder with something you shouldn’t,
a piece of steel wool in your fist that will take off enamel,
finds your jaw clenched as you seek some solace in the yard,
icy white clouds rocketing above you in the desolate blue;
and when your wife comes in later from chopping wood,
her face a little gray already with weariness, you convince her to listen to music
instead of turning on the news, so she won’t one more time have to
sit in the grip of powerlessness with you,
unable to affect the course let alone the outcome,
least of all with the lines belting out of your smart little machine,
which ricochet while you pause, searching for the g,
and see you have savaged the very letter off your key.

from Poets Respond
January 21, 2024


P.H. Crosby: “A response to yet another story about school shooting, this time a story about law enforcement itself apparently frozen, seemingly incapable of acting, just as we as citizens seem incapable of taking the measures needed—and proven—to reduce gun violence.”

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