My Heart Screams and Soars

For the people of Toronto and their loss and bravery during a domestic terror attack* that rocked our city early this week. On Monday, the city fell under a controlled panic, never crossing into Islamaphobia or hysteria, waiting until facts and foes were known. As the dust settled, ten were dead, over a dozen wounded, and the criminal who committed these crimes—and his motivations, relatively—were known. Now we can rebuild and grieve. My heart is with you, Toronto.

City of lights,

Shrouded, despoiled

Careening chaos,

brought by madman’s foiled


A coward’s crusade

Ending in cringing tirade

Which will be forgotten as the sands

In a desert of bone


We leave him,

and return to the spirits

Do not weep

Do not fear

They are with us,


In another room in our heart

A corner-glance darted

To these whisperers in the dark

We shall not dim their glow

With lugubrious eulogies

But continue to sow

Great songs of their memory

Unbroken as the dawn

Unbroken as the willow tree

Unbroken as the Native spirt buried under thee,


We ache


We unite


Your dead and our hope

Are one

—Christian A. Brown, 2018

*Experts are still debating whether or not this was a ‘terror’ attack. In light of the attacker’s ties to extremist misogynist groups and going by the definition of ‘domestic terrorism’, I contend it surely is.