her tears


By Beatrice Preti – Class of 2017
Photograph by Darwin Chan – Class of 2018

when she cries, the sides of her eyes
crinkle, and she frowns, just a little.

there’s no sobbing or shrieking
like the young ones do. she sits there
alone, as the tears line up to fall,
pausing politely so they don’t collide.

You have broken her.

but she is still speaking. her voice trembles,
of course, but her words are clear. they
make sense. she asks the right questions.

but you can’t help but notice
how different it is when the old folks cry.

there is no passion or regret or surprise.

they are tired. they have seen too much.

she is not crying for the man cooling
off on a stretcher in a trashed trauma unit.
she is not crying for the little girl by her
side who will go home fatherless today.
she is crying for all the scars she has earned
from a lifetime of living, the scars that burn
as a new member joins their ranks.

she cries because her heart is broken.
life has broken it.

You have broken it.
just a little bit more than it was before.

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