Of men of genius, men and women

Honored, great and tall,

Everywhere I look epithets are seen.

They matter more than all.

We mourn, rightly over their deaths,

Broken over suicides,

Yet thousands globally breathe last breaths

Nothingness stirs inside.

Cause me to laugh, ponder, or cry—

My heart is yours

Be killed over race, religion, or just being alive,

We’ll avoid that tour.

Great men of genius, men and women

Honored, great and tall,

Forgive, today, my lack of tears even

Of the child’s call.

We see and hear statistics everywhere:

Murder, rape, injustice

And I will hardly consider blinking.

Why discuss this?

For my heart knows not how to break

Please, teach me.

It should not matter: whether small or great,

Epithets should be seen.

I saw a picture honoring Robin Williams’ life, and it said “Genius,” and the ‘u’ was made of his smile. That picture made me wonder how many thousands are killed each day who are a genius in their own right, yet we never even hear their names. I almost titled this poem “Death of a Jester,” yet I saw more my struggle to understand how to properly process hearing about deaths all over the globe. 

Think about it.

How many people have been shot in Chicago this past month? Did you see any facebook posts?

How many Islamic minorities have been killed by ISIS? Did you see any memes?

How many children were sold into the sex slave industry this past week? Did we care?

How many children die each day in Haiti due to water born illnesses? Did I cry?

I hope my poem caused you to ask the same question that I asked myself: “Why don’t I care about each person’s death?”

Do not read this poem as my angry ranting about people mourning the death of Robin Williams. His films caused thousands to ponder the meaning of life, they caused relief during times of sorrow, and they put many people in touch with their emotions in a manner never thought possible. 

But why do our hearts only break for men and women: honored, great, and tall?

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