Child's Play


United States
43° 9' 11.016" N, 77° 38' 11.148" W

ghastly silence crept in
like high tide in spring. flooding. subduing.
over echoes of playful banter. one, two, buckle my shhh---
dread and fear danced blissfully in the throats of ashen’s audience
panic clamored mercilessly in the womb’s of deadened nurturers
mommy, is that gun real?

sleek ebony limbs
glisten majestically in outstretched arms. taunting. preying.
betwixt young and old. eeny, meeny, miny…moe!
agony’s joy erupts in thunderous applause
ire and bliss entwine amidst waning cries for mercy
mommy, you’ve got ketchup all over your shirt.



I really like the word choices you've used here: the "ghastly silence," how "dread and fear danced blissfully," how "sleek ebony limbs glisten majestically." All that works very well on the surface. What I think is more powerful, though, is the child's perspective you've incorporated into the poem: the childhood rhyme that becomes a shush into silence, the confusion of blood and ketchup. These lend a sort of innocence to the poem; it's only more tragic because that innocence is, of course, done away with by the end.


This piece was probably the most difficult to write for the very reason you thought it was powerful: the loss of innocence.

I struggled with posting it because of the emotional rawness that creeps over me whenever I read it. You could say it has a "haunting" or disturbing impact. There are very few pieces that I write that still send a shudder down my spine, even after 8 years. This is one of them.

As always, thank you for your feedback. It's sooo refreshing and delightful that someone else gets what I'm trying to say. :)

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