The Broken Country

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

No poem expresses enough;
no word heals enough.
We are the broken country.
We have been felled by madness,
swamped by guns, abandoned by God
who seems to have attended business elsewhere.
We are the broken country.
Reason provides answers after the fact.
Faith provides comfort after the fact.
People will gather in churches and synagogues
in a fruitless attempt to make sense
out of what is senseless.
Psychologists will offer theories.
Clergy will offer solace.
Politicians will offer legislation –
all too late.
You can’t close the gate
after the horror has been released.
We are the broken country.

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in a new YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy,  edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit:


Filed under poetry

2 responses to “The Broken Country

  1. beverleypricejewellery

    Hi Mel yes it does seem to be about the guns. The current ‘eternal’ question how does your country reverse this when as you say there are industries – including psychotherapy – predicated on the symptoms and need for guns. In this country some consider guns as a rite of passage for entry to gangs.

  2. Mel, reading your poem, I am heartbroken. You are right that we cannot close the gates once the horror has been unleashed.

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