Our Times

Your words say nothing to me.
Coffee, blood, and despair.
I drink my tea quietly,
The white morning air
Bleached of all blood.
Pain doesn't factor here.

On a distant continent,
People wash to shore,
Lungs filled with the sea,
With drowned despair.
Their families' blood
Reflects in the wide startle
Of their bloodshot eyes.

Down the street from where
I drink my tea,
A man shoots his girlfriend
And their children
After he already bludgeoned them.
“Overkill,” another neighbor later laughs,
And I'll shiver, but soon forget,
Shuffle through the evening.

January 23, 2018, and already
11 school shootings, more to come.
My neighbor bludgeoned and shot his family.
He then turned the gun on himself.
A classic for our times.
As a nation, please don't tell me
We are numb, that with all this blood,
Pain doesn't factor here.


Karen Poppy has work published or forthcoming in The Wallace Stevens Journal, Parody Poetry Journal, Young Ravens Literary Review, and Voices de la Luna. She has recently written her first novel. Karen Poppy is a writer, and attorney licensed in California and Texas. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.