A/N: I recently had to read Romeo and Juliet for school. As an assignment, our teacher gave us a poem about Friar laurence written by M. Gregory, and told us to write a poem in a similar style about another character who is still alive at the end of the play. I'm not sure quite what to think of my poem -- it feels a little stiff to me, and it rambles a lot -- but I decided to post it here and see what everyone thought.

You expect the world to stop moving, you expect

Everything to halt in place.

For surely, you naïvely think, they all are mourning, surely

There can be no joy, no cheer, no laughter,

Not even any sorrow or grief.

The world is beyond grief, it is beyond

Hurting. All that remains is this prevailing

Numbness, this never-ending hunger for something that is

Unattainable, this everlasting detached,

Indifferent state of being.

Yet this is not so, none of this is true.

The world keeps moving, keeps turning,

Pausing for only one instant to express its sadness.

Then after this, all the people revert to being as they were.

They do not care. They do not stew.

She was the world, yet only, I finally realize,

In my eyes was this true. She was merely another face to the others.

So there is nothing to do but join the rest, nothing to do but

Go on walking without moving in any real direction, continue on talking

Without listening to your own words.

Looking around you without seeing a single sight, existing

On this planet without purpose.

Leaves crackle under my feet, for I step on them just

To hear the sound, to reassure myself that there is still sound

In this deadened world. The sun shines too bright in my eyes.

But I do not mind, squinting against the sunlight is also

Reassuring. For narrowing my eyes at the sun reminds me

That I can still move, still react to my surroundings, still respond

To the outside world in a way that is normal.

And yet, rising above this paralyzed land is the occasional small

Burst of – I do not recall the name of it anymore – was it called

Hope? I feel this foreign thing stir slightly within me whenever I

Happen upon the Montagues. Strange how these people who were

Once so loathed by me are now so dear to my heart.

Why is it that the event which brought we two families together

Has completely destroyed the individuals of the families within?

It does not seem to be a fair exchange, the scale seems

Heavily unbalanced to the side of the unfair.

Still, it is a small consolation to know that I am

Not the only one who is wandering blindly.

It is a small reassurance to know that I am

Not the only one who is going on without any sort of

Direction to my step. For though it is our young ones who are now

Buried beneath the dirt, it is our souls as well as theirs that are

Frozen, lifeless, dead. Still, every now and then I

Feel a fresh breeze on my face and wonder if perhaps,

Though my Juliet lies beneath the Earth and I

Still stand above ground,

I wonder if perhaps she is somehow, in some way,

Still more alive than I.