Tears Should Stop At Forty

by Ben Pickard   Aug 18, 2020

Lifted, turned upside down,
shaken and hollowed out,
I am empty. A newborn baby,
baptized into emotional oblivion,
I have been carved and swaddled
in the arms of marble. I have had
my tender bones shattered then splintered
to represent harder margins that are
more appealing to the masses.
Apparently, this is who I should be.

So now, with a manufactured man's conceit,
I will pretend that the tears have stopped.
But with an essence of honesty that still
vibrates throughout a chasm of unfulfilled beauty,
I can tell you that they have not.


Ben Pickard 2020


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Latest Comments

  • 1 month ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    The title is heart-breaking, a plea for tears to stop at a certain time in our lives or age. It can be a hard reality to swallow, when tears and that emptiness can render us speechless at any moment. The image of the newborn, a sign of innocence, and being "baptized into emotional oblivion", just gutted me. The juxtaposition of that tenderness and naivete, with the broken bones and stripping of one's humanity, was hard to read. I took the line about appealing to the masses as having to assume all responsibility and act like nothing affects you. Like you can weather anything, when you're only human, and it's a lot to expect out of someone.

    Honestly, I hide my tears too. It can be incredibly complicated because becoming so openly vulnerable in front of someone can tear down your walls, and also let others have insight into your life that can be personal. But no one should feel they have to hide their tears or pain. We all grieve and are in pain in some way or another.

    Thank you for sharing so honestly, Ben.

  • 1 month ago

    by Brenda

    Never be ashamed to cry. I think the stigma of a man and crying needs to end. You are not made of stone, let it out!

  • 1 month ago

    by Gracy Judith

    What a powerful and touching write! Loved it Ben...

  • 1 month ago

    by Milly Hayward

    Another powerful piece that will resonate with many. I think life is tough. At times it truly feels like it breaks the bones of us but we can't let it. Taking joy in the small things finding happiness where we can is the glue that mends our broken souls. Much love Milly x

  • 1 month ago

    by Aegis

    Oh my! For many years now I've read and loved all of your work. But never have I resonated so strongly like I did with this. I especially liked the bit about appealing to the masses. As always, truly wonderful Ben. Nominated for sure<3

    • 1 month ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Thank you both and thank you for the nomination, Aegis

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