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Poem: Evidence of Emotion

October 26, 2016


Evidence of Emotion


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



In the courtroom of the heart,

I offer you Exhibit A–

clear lenses of glasses

stained with teardrops.


Washing these unnecessarily prescription lenses

on this nearly frosted morning,

I think of the evidence of emotion,

the tear stains,

disappearing beneath

a cascade of water

and the touch of my finger.


Is the sadness of yesterday

now erased, forgotten,

evaluated, or forestalled?


Back in the courtroom of the heart,

an unqualified judge asked,

“Why do you wear these glasses

if you have no vision?”


My testimony began:

“Since I was seven,

I have been wearing glasses:

they seem as much a part of me

as my right hand

and my left leg,

as the clothes

I don each day.

Exhibit A has protected me

from hurt

or from greater injury

when I fell off my bike,

when a door was accidentally slung into my face,

when I encountered a piece of construction equipment

on the Kilbourn Drawbridge.

Wearing these glasses

calms my concerns

about being poked

by a low-hanging branch.

Through so many seasons of walking,

these glasses have shielded my broken eyes

from raindrops, snowflakes,

stinging sleet, and drying winds.

Believe me, I do not wear them for vanity:

I let my congenitally impaired vanity

dissolve decades ago.

Most of all,

I wear these glasses

to catch the tears

of emotions

so that I have proof

that I did not squelch

nor hide

all that I felt

on any yesterday.

I will admit

that I am not

an amateur holder of emotions:

I ascend from Italian descent;

I am

a professional holder of emotions–

a poet

who translates

tear stains

into the adversities of verse,

the joy of enjambment,

and the strides of stanzas.”


Midst the murmurs

magnifying in the courtroom,

the judge,

with unknown poetic license,

tapped his gavel and bellowed,

“Poetic order in the court!”



NOTE:  Written on October 14, 2016, the above poem was my submission for my small-group critique session last evening.  After hearing positive comments about this poem yesterday, I decided to share the poem on my Wordwalk blog today and postpone the family history piece about Lanzone’s Grocery Store to November, when each of my blog posts will focus on “Thanks” from an altitude of gratitude.  Please continue to visit my Wordwalk blog throughout the upcoming month of thanks.


Happy Halloween!

Alice and Willow


October 26, 2016, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Dear Alice. I don’t really know how to respond to this post. You are the wordsmith from west of the lakes. You have risen higher than a newly born October snowflake. I bow down to your beautiful ballet of pulsating poetic phrase. Amazing! Simply amazing! dp

    • Deon–Wow! A thousand thanks for your too generous and beautifully written comment!

      Thanks for being so encouraging–Alice

  2. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–Another beautiful post! Although I am not a qualified judge of poetry, I can understand why the critique group’s comments were positive, and I am sure your Italian ancestors are smiling from above as you share your stored emotions via these touching poems.–Sue

    • Sue–Thanks for your sweet comment. The thought of ancestors’ smiling upon me warms my heart.

      Happy Halloween! Alice and Willow

  3. Hi Alice,

    I love this poem.

    • Hi, Mary-Jo–Thanks for your comment. Congratulations to you, editor, for your recently posted issue of the online, literary publication MAGNETS AND LADDERS! I always look forward to reading this creative and interesting online publication at:

      and hope that many of my WORDWALK readers will check out the above link.

      With appreciation for all that you do–Alice

  4. Fran Rayce permalink

    Dear Alice,
    This gorgeous group of words brought tears to my stoic Italian eyes! Wow, wow, wow!
    Love, Fran

    • Fran–While a poet strives to evoke emotions, I did not expect tears. Thanks for sharing your reaction to my poem.

      Best always–Alice

  5. PJ Lumb permalink

    Poetic order in the court of life…you were born to write, and to see life with more than your eyes, Alice. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. This poem brings much emotion from those who love and respect you, Alice! You are blessed with many gifts and talents, which you generously share with everyone! God bless!

    • Carole–Thanks for your kind and flattering words. Blessings to you, Tim, and Jason, too.

      (Willow says that I should not forget Bebe!)

      Talk with you soon–A & W

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