journalism in verse

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All Around the Men Are Tumbling

in Culture/Gender Violence by

All around the men are tumbling
down like statues after war,
painted idols smashed and crumbling.

Office hallways are now cannons rumbling
with the cold iron fire of lives torn.
All around the men are tumbling.

Titans of industry stumbling,
sleek suits split to the rotten core,
painted idols smashed and crumbling.

They claim it was a bit of bumbling,
a little fun—don’t be such a bore!
All around the men are tumbling,

hanging their heads, mumbling
apologies, bruised egos sore,
painted idols smashed and crumbling.

Who could have seen this humbling
coming, this opening of doors?
All around the men are tumbling,
painted idols smashed and crumbling.

 


Poet’s Note: News reports of sexual harassment allegations and subsequent firings have been occurring with such regularity and in such volume that it feels a little like it’s happening everywhere and to everyone. A villanelle felt like the perfect form to capture that.

 

Katherine Lo is a writer and high school English teacher who lives in Southern California. Her work has previously been featured in Poet Lore, Rattle (Poets Respond), CALYX, and Qu.

Photo by Felipe P. Lima Rizo.

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