You ask why
as if there is
some answer
that could satisfy us
that would make us
nod heads
in collective agreement
Yes, we would say wisely
he should have taken his life
Yes, she deserved to be a statistic

Ask instead 
how much pain
a human being
has endured
to choose dying
over existing?
Ask how low
can sink
before sincerely
believing that
would be better off
without him?
How dark
how poisoned
must the air
surrounding her
to choose
to stop

I have stood at
the edge of the abyss
weariness an ache
deep in my bones
trapped deep and
alone in my head
believing that there
was only one way
to be freed
from sticky black
churning tides of guilt
thick clouds of desperation
that blinded my eyes
choked my lungs
permeated my thoughts
I do not need
to ask why?

I ache to know
that another sister
another brother
another life
has been lost
no memorials
for me to lay a wreath
of golden roses
no candles to light
no hands to hold
in this heartbreaking war

© 2017 Revised 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved


  1. If I could scream a poem like this at people… I feel and understand every line. I love your staccato. It’s exactly how I feel. How hard is it to understand, and if you don’t – either try to or just stay quiet. Thank you, I really loved this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that only those who have stood at the edge of that abyss, looked into its depth and seen only relief even briefly, can truly know. Second to that come those who have been face-to-face with someone (or more) in that place and dared to look into their eyes and seen its reflection and felt its chill.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do agree that people either know the abyss down to their bones or cannot even imagine it. I do not wish it on those who have never gazed into it personally or in a loved one’s eyes, I just cringe when they ask ‘why’ or call somebody with suicidal thoughts ‘selfish’

      Liked by 1 person

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