Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Barbara E. Young: Pain


am I not raging?

Why aren’t we all?

All so flaming angry

we burn our shoes. Heaps of shoes 

should burn

at intersections,

and when the flames begin to flag

why are we not angry enough

to feed the fire with bread

and cans of tuna in oil.

Feed the conflagration

olive oil and coffee

and Ikea shelving units.

We have broken the camel

with all of our straws:

why are we not

all rage, skinless 

boneless, dripping.

Why doesn’t it hurt so 

that we slit 

our dogs’ throats

and our cats’. Throw

beloved carcasses on the pyre,

park our Toyotas around it

and Transport Vans

and open their doors to spill

Jane Austen, treasured photos,

footballs, our grandmothers’ 

watches each 

with two 

diamond chips, spill ourselves

into the consumption.

Copyright Barbara E. Young. From Heirloom Language by Barbara E. Young (Madville, 2021)

Barbara E. Young, her husband Jim and their two cats live in White Bluff, Tennessee, near Nashville. 

image: Mirror

3 comments on “Barbara E. Young: Pain

  1. Patricia A. Nugent
    August 9, 2021

    I agree (all but slitting the dogs’ throats and book burning). And I am raging – but find it hard to find a productive application to turn this mess around. I often wonder why aren’t we carrying pitchforks and torches in the streets? I should wonder, “Why don’t I?” I did raise my fist at a community event recently where America the Beautiful was sung….scary but that small act of defiance felt great afterward.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara Huntington
    August 9, 2021


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rose Mary Boehm
    August 9, 2021


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Barbara Huntington Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


This entry was posted on August 9, 2021 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , .

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 10,757 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 4,520,001 hits


%d bloggers like this: