Exhausted by Michael A. Roche

Michael Allen Roche is an author from Hampden county. He is an active member of Write-Up Springfield. He shares his life and home with his husband, Earskin Sloan. His short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies. He also enjoys writing memoirs, essays, and prose. 


A pandemic is no time for a civil war.
These battles have raged for decades,
Equality is what we’re fighting for
But now we’re trapped inside.

I’m done with Facebook. The hatred is sickening
The continuation of willful ignorance;
Too exhausted to argue. No one is listening.
And the second civil war has just begun.

Business is booming for undertakers.
Violence comes with provocation of ‘law enforcement’
When what was needed were the peacemakers
and peace-keepers, not violent provocateurs.

Anger and sadness overwhelm
As people march. As people die.
The tears stream down my face.
People ignore. People deny.

Although my information comes not from media
“Fake news” they scream. “Liberal media lied.”
It’s from people being attacked. It’s from friends
And relatives of those who have died.

Please STOP. Stop denying, minimizing, excusing.
I’m exhausted. I’m angry. I’m beyond sad.
It’s the establishment we’re accusing.
All lives matter. Not all cops are bad.

Men in robes and masks and pointy hats
I’ve seen with my own eyes,
Black dolls hanging from trees,
Yet you still believe these all are lies.

Nazis march down American streets.
Good people on both sides?
You don’t seem to know that silence speaks
White Power! Another black man dies.

They dislike being labeled willfully ignorant
So, what to call those who refuse to see?
When you disregard others’ experiences
What else could you possibly be?

“We’re in a post-racial world now”
Tells me you don’t understand.
Let’s fix the problem – but how?
When you refuse to see that it is real.

I’m still angry. I’m still sad
That these words need be written today.
But for now, I’m just exhausted
And I have nothing more to say.