Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

Moments mapped on skin

Wrinkled, sun-kissed, thin

Years of hopes and dreams

Bursting at the seams

Wisdom in her eyes

Wistful tired sighs

As I reminisce

How can I say this

Silent, I sit here

Choking back a tear

So much is unsaid

Swirling in my head

Looking at her face

My heart trapped in place

Her arms were my nest

When I was distressed

She was always there

Strong and full of care

Is this our last hug

Quiet, safe, and snug

Not ready to grieve

I don’t want to leave

Maybe if I hide

Very deep inside

Time will stop and wait

Before it’s too late


Not Here… by Toni L.A. Cross

Perfect, innocent thing

so helpless and young

swaddled in my womb

my mind imagines you so perfectly

and my heart wishes you here so desperately

that sometimes I almost think it is so

Soft, downy thing

so tiny and warm

nestled against my breast

my senses conjure you so perfectly

and my soul dreams of you so desperately

that sometimes I almost think you never left

Twenty Tykes… by Toni Cross



twenty tykes went

unknowingly sent

straight into


all around

was the sound


hit the ground

bullets flying

children crying

red-stained pigtails

pointless dying

crazy fiend

quickly gleaned

baby souls

barely weaned

weep til you sleep…by Toni L.A. Cross




til you no more weep




into my keep




a motionless heap




don’t make a peep




sunk down deep


Surrounded by Tombstones… by Toni L.A. Cross

Surrounded by tombstones

I’m claustrophobic

Within the walls

Of this confining minute

Tomorrow dies

While I breathe

The stale air of Today

Yesterday seems so dear

With its familiar expanse

Wooing me backward

Into the graveyard

Of my mind’s idyllic perfection

And the clock

Pounds out seconds

With slow precision

Melting into a lullaby

As I slip inward

And farther from

The Now