I’m Sick of Half-Sized Coffins–Amazing poetry by Katherine Vice

I’m Sick of Half-Sized Coffins

A Poem by Katherine Vice

(Please stop by and read the talented writer.)


Every single day, over

5,400 kids, ages 7-12,
attempt to take their own life.
It is the second leading cause of death
in ages 10-24.  More teens and young adults
will be killed by their own heads
than from cancer,
heart disease, AIDS, chronic lung disease, birth defects,
stroke, pneumonia, and influenza
4 out of 5 of these kids
have shown clear warning signs
that something inside them is dying.
We lose more children in this country than soldiers,
and still they are taken as a last priority.
Not a single flag flies at half-mast
for this war.
Ronin Shimizu was twelve years old.
He just wanted to cheerlead
for his middle  school, now he’s seeing
the inside of a body bag.
Every body is a battleground,
we’re digging trenches in our own wrists,
taking shots at every good thought.
This is not
a cry for help.
This is a rally.
This is a revolution.
This is a stop-what-you’re-doing-and-listen
before the body count gets any higher.
Listen to the kids drawing maps
on their skin with razor blades, searching
for a way out
without having to leave.
I need the healthy people to understand
that our wrists were not made for attention.
How long are you going to keep pretending
everything is fine?
Everything is dying
on the lips of kids who can’t stand
up for themselves, and you’re just going to stand
there like you’ve never heard the word
Like it’s never hit
too close to home.
Like you’ve never found it
worthwhile enough
to be the subject of a poem.
Ya’ll, I don’t know
how many more different ways
I can phrase this
without the message getting old, but
you know what else is getting really fucking old?
Hearing on the news that
another kid hung himself this afternoon.  That
tonight at 11 another family came home
to a body in the bathtub.
And all the parents
are lining up outside their houses
and swearing to the microphones that
they never saw it coming.
It’s time for you to hear their silence
while they’re still alive.
It’s time for you to realize that
silence is not passive.

© 2015 Katherine Vice