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The Monster, a Poem by Paula Pivko

2020 was the cruelest year breeding

ice-cold storms from pain

and hatred long kept hidden

away from the sun’s light.

Something caged finally came out.

Kyrie Eleison

Kyrie Eleison

January 2021

The monster came

to our doorstep.

Kyrie Eleison

It was born on a day in 1999

At a school in Chicago.

When we said,

“they’ve committed suicide.

Surely, this can’t happen again.

What do you know?

What do you remember?

I know only this.

I will give up

the second

amendment when

they take it from my cold

my cold dead fingers.

The monster isn’t dead.

We learned this at

a school in 2012

It grew arms.

At a nightclub, it grew feet.

Fed by our words.

“Of course, we condemn

the actions of the shooter.

And pray for the families of

the forty-nine dead.”

Kyrie Eleison

As we whisper or maybe shout.

But they are not our kind.

They shouldn’t have gone there.

Lead the good life and

the Lord will protect you.

And of course, we could

do nothing, just talk.

Restricting guns does no good.

Only criminals will have them.

In fact, we need

to arm the teachers

and form the militia.

I’ll give up the second

when they pry it from

my cold, cold

dead fingers.

Let’s pray to our god and condemn

the young who cry at our doorstep.

Entitled children should go back

to where they belong.

Let us pray to our god

ask for justice for him

to punish the sinners among us.

Our thoughts and prayers

are with the victims.

We’ll root out the enemy

and chase him away.

Kyrie Eleison

Once we met the enemy.

Who was he?

We met the enemy

and who was he again?

I do not know. I do not remember.

Now we hold drills

and five-year-olds

hide in closets.

We need that second

and the militia.

But do not let the trans

serve in the military.

Don’t ask don’t tell.

It’s all an illness

if not a sin.

Don’t question a soldier

who likes to kill.

So long as he’s straight.

Don’t question

the cop who kneels

On another’s neck.

It’s not ours, after all.

Don’t do the crime then.

In 2021 it came back.

Kyrie Eleison

It broke the doors to our palace.

This monster that had gone to

a club for the wicked

Now brought us righteous

to our knees.

We cried out Oh Lord, Oh Lord

Why have you forsaken us?

Kyrie Eleison

We did not see for we could not.

We put cotton in our ears and blinded

ourselves like Oedipus.

So as to not hear the monster

call us his savior.

So we would not see our likenesses

In the monster’s blood-red eyes.

Dies irae, dies illa

Quando Judex est venturus

The monster sleeps.

We stayed our hand again.

And we,

we found too late when

the Judge came

it was not for those in some

den of a nightclub nor

for those we call sinners.

He came for us.

Dies irae, dies illa


Paula Pivko grew up in Palatka, Florida. She started writing poetry at the age of thirteen and never stopped. She has been published in the Florida Writer’s Magazine; Vulture and Doves, Social Issues for our Times; and Teen Angst. Recently she started doing short stories which have been published on Reedsy. Paula also was a finalist in the 2020 RPLA awards for poetry from the Florida Writer’s Association. She lives in Port Saint Lucie, Fl with her two sons and works as an orthotist-prosthetist. It was through her career and her friends that she learned what strength truly is.


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