On Hearing of his Suicide (New York City Story)


On Hearing of his Suicide  (New York City Story)

She wondered if she’d have seen
the depression
had she known his name wasn’t actually
(that, only some
Americanized version.)

As it was, she’d always imagined
a teen mom in Eastern Europe,
loving some dream tenderly
as she danced with her two-stepping toddler,
his eyes even then
darkly circled, brow somehow
weighed down.



55 drafty words for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on Real Toads.  Sadness felt too on hearing this news about a young man I did not know well.

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22 Comments on “On Hearing of his Suicide (New York City Story)”

  1. Oh… every teenager, every adult was someone’s sweet baby once… the last stanza just breaks my heart…

  2. Premature death, especially a suicide, does such strange things to our emotions… to the way we think of the one now gone… even when we didn’t know them well.

  3. Suicide and what you leave behind is something that fills my heart with sadness.. I love how you hinted of a past that almost gives an explainatiion… even if there sometimes is none.

  4. kim881 Says:

    This is such a sad poem. I was particularly touched by the second stanza and the lines:
    ‘as she danced with her two-stepping toddler,
    his eyes even then
    darkly circled, brow somehow
    weighed down.’

  5. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    This really hits home for me, Karin. We had a student commit suicide last week and that is a very heavy thing for a school community and a town to deal with.

  6. othermary Says:

    This is such a thoughful and tender way to approach a topic that is so difficult to write well about. Condolences.

  7. Helen Dehner Says:

    Incredibly sad .. beautifully crafted.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Here, K, you use the the shortage of words to go straight to the heart, and the result is stunning. You’ve captured the span and weigh of the world in these words. Thanks for sharing.

  9. isadoragruye@gmail.com Says:

    K, you’ve used the 55 flash promo to go straight to the heart, and the result is stunning. Not a word wasted, you’ve covered the span and weight of the world. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Sherry Marr Says:

    So sad…..the thought of that two-stepping toddler, his brow already weighted, his heartbreaking ending.

  11. gillena Says:

    even though sad, there is a keen sensing of the persona, which is quite interesting, as she dances with future years

    much love…

  12. Laura Bloomsbury Says:

    such impact in the space left behind

  13. Jim Says:

    I imagine that children of suicide parents have many dark circled eyes. It was a reminder that I have known more than several who have ended things, probably the one that touched me most was my first grade girl friend. Three of my friends who were girls who ended their lives, two boys (one was valedictorian of our senior class of 48).
    Suicide is not off my bucket list for when my time comes and I am able to arrange it.

  14. Sad and disturbing poem, but powerful in the writing.

  15. What a sad poem. Goes right to the heart in 55 perfect words

  16. Rosemary Nissen-Wade Says:


  17. ladynyo Says:

    Heartbreaking. there is no other words.

  18. ladynyo Says:

    “There are no other words.”

  19. M Says:

    K, you’ve captured the essence here so deftly. A darkly beautiful pen ~

  20. such a sad person, suicide to me is one of the worst ways to die, always sends a chill down my spine to hear of someone committing suicide.

  21. Oh, dear, this one got me. I won’t tell you why (too personal). But your writing makes the poem very real.

    Greetings from London.

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