The Tears You’ll Never Cry

Poem "The Tears You'll Never Cry" over a background of clouds and balloons

Written for the victims of the Newtown, CT shooting and their families.

I’m the kind of person that has a delayed emotional reaction. Most times, it takes a while for things to sink in, which is great for emergencies. The problem is, once the sadness settles in, it takes much longer to leave.

Knowing this, I tried to avoid the news over the weekend and, for the most part, succeeded. But enough of it creeped in that it devastated me anyway.

I mourn for these children. I grieve for their families. I wrote this for them. It’s unlikely you can tell, but I cried the entire time I was writing it – for hours.

Could their ever be anything worse than a parent’s grief? I can’t imagine so. But unlike those who looked for an explanation or turn to religion for a sense of hope, I accept that we will never fully understand the why’s we insist on asking.

I had many well-crafted stanzas that ultimately found their way into the recycle bin. I wanted to convey the loss not only of the child but of their future. And it’s not just the happy times that have been stolen from them – they will miss out on every right of passage on their journey through life.

I’ve spent so much time with these words, I can no longer tell if I like them or not. I expect a lukewarm reception from the (US) public, who are so fickle about poetry.

But whether you like the poem or not, and whether I’ve succeeded, I wanted to honor everyone who loved those children, everyone who was robbed of their time with them. I salute those who fell trying to protect them and offer my heartfelt sympathies to everyone in pain.

I hope they didn’t understand what was happening so their last moments weren’t filled with fear. I hope they met Death quickly so they didn’t suffer any more than they had to. And I hope that, one day, the families, the town, the nation, will find a way to heal.


I am working on a way to use the poem to raise donations for families affected by this tragedy. I am reviewing several options, but if there are any printers, crafters, or artisans that would like to collaborate, I would be happy to hear from you.

But I also strongly encourage making a direct donation to one of the funds that have been established.

The Newtown Memorial Fund

The Sandy Hook School Support Fund
Mail checks to:
Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470

Checks may also be dropped off at any Newtown Savings Bank branch location – Call 800-461-0672 with questions.

Or you can donate online with a credit card via the United Way of Western Connecticut.

The Emily Parker Fund
From the Emilie Parker Fund Facebook Page:

“Donation Options For the Emilie Parker Memorial:

America First Credit Union: Emilie Parker Memorial Account #5001359. For AFCU members transfer into Share Savings. For Non-AFCU members the routing number is 324377516

PAYPAL: Use the email –

For US Post-Mail use:
Emilie Parker Memorial
PO Box 12751
Ogden, UT 84412-2751

To Donate to all the Sandy Hook Families Use the website:

Thank you for your outpouring of love and support. This international concern is simply amazing. Thank you.”

Olivia Rose Engel
From the Friends of the Engel Family Fund Facebook Page:

“On December 14th, 2012, Olivia Rose Engel lost her life in tragic the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Please click here to donate to the family:

Noah Pozner
From the RIP Noah Pozner – Sandy Hook Massacre Victim Facebook Page:

“For those of you that are interested in donating to the Pozner family, here’s the link. Funds are being collected through eventbrite, and structured as tickets. Please donate any amount and please select today’s date as the day of event. Thank you so much for your generosity and may it be multiplied.

Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund
A CrowdRise Fundraising Project.

Connecticut School Shooting Victims Fund Started by OneRepublic
On IndieGogo

Dawn Hochsprung
A memorial has been set up by the family of the brave principal who died trying to stop the gunman.

Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Memorial Fund
CT Teachers Credit Union
PO Box 2121
Waterbury, CT 06722

If you’re aware of any others, please let me know.


A dark wind,
soft and gentle
against my cheek,
inviting – at first.

The cool breeze,
as I stand,
watching the night.

A faux fall –
lingering summer,
the heat,
still oppressive.

is almost here,
and yet
I feel –

Ghosts in the Machine

We are but ghosts in the machine,
begat from nothingness,
our rise, our desire to be,

We are no more than the whispered fall
of snow upon the mountains,
no more than the silent
smile of ice, pristine.

Our deaths are in the rainbows,
in the butterflies,
in the false promises of spring,
wordless and fleeting.

We cling to every moment,
our every thought espoused supreme.
But we are no more than
30 seconds of life.

When wind and water wash away
our footsteps from the sand,
no one will be weeping;
no one will even notice when we’ve gone.


I could never, in a lifetime, devise
how to say more than the tears in my eyes.

And yet, they are inadequate still;
in silent song, they fall free, without will.

When first I saw you, I wept with surprise,
all of my heart pouring forth with your cries.

Then on the blanket of tears that I’d shed,
you laid your small, velvet feet, trusting head.

And with each fall of my breast, with each rise,
came your soft, subtle breath, silent sighs.

Filled with more love than I thought there could be,
I needed you, as much as you needed me.

And how the hourglass sands love defies! –
vast and endless as stars in the skies.

And what ever could there be more sublime
than a love undiminished by time?

For S & R