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I want to cry. but can't.


By Paul StewartPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 1 min read
I want to cry. but can't.
Photo by Nastya Dulhiier on Unsplash

I want to cry, but can't.

just can't. can't seem

to make the tear ducts

empty and drain away

want to feel the deluge

waterfall from my eyes

feel the pain surface

let the anger flow


at the senselessness


at the injustice

life's not about justice

but should be

life's not about sense

but should be

let the...sadness grow


not just for me, myself, I

but everyone

and anyone you've ever

touched with your warmth

wit, passion and kindness

I dreamt about your mother

my Nonna...

last night/this morning

she was there and asked

a random question

oblivious to her death

I choked on telling her

"I love you"

I need to cry, but can't.

maybe it doesn't feel...

real yet?


when the news comes

it will feel real



maybe then I will cry...

break down and just...

bury myself in my emotions

but until then

I want to cry, but can't.


Thanks for reading!

Author's Notes: For my Uncle Claudio.

sad poetry

About the Creator

Paul Stewart

Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.

Overflowing in English language torture and word abuse.

"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson

The Accidental Poet - Poetry Collection is now available!


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Comments (20)

  • Esala Gunathilake26 days ago

    Amazing Paul. That's it.

  • Shirley Belk28 days ago

    I felt this so deeply. It took me ten years to let the tears loose when my Aunt Sis died. I think I believed if I didn't cry, then she wouldn't really be gone.

  • Bex Jordan29 days ago

    This is so beautifully sad, Paul 💔

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    As a person who cries super easily, I cannot relate to this but I can understand how difficult it must be to not be able to express all those emotions through tears. Sending you lots of love and hugs Sir Paul 🥺❤️

  • John Coxabout a month ago

    Sounds like those whom you have loved and lost have not truly left you. I find strange comfort in that in my own life. When my father passed away it was still early, the sun a couple hours away from peaking over the horizon. After my brother called and broke the news, I did not expect to sleep again. But after lying in bed for an hour or so staring tearlessly and numbly at the ceiling in the dark, I unexpectedly fell asleep. In my dream, I stood in a room with the most important women in my life. My wife and daughter, my sister, and my precious Grandy (dad's mom) already dead almost 25 years. A knock came at the door, and I opened it, and my Grandma (mom's mom - dead 35 years) and aunt (mom's sister) came into the room. I took my Grandma in my arms and blubbered that my dad had died and began to weep. Then I woke up. I still dream about both grandmothers (especially Grandy) regularly. And I likely always will. I dream about my dad almost weekly. Ironically, he is in his 40s in my dreams, my children's age, and I'm 20 years older than he is. The people we love and emulate live on in us. I felt that deeply in your beautiful poem, Paul. Your poem about not crying made me cry. Thank you for sharing that piece of yourself.

  • Kayleigh Fraser ✨about a month ago

    I’m so sorry Paul, and Ruth. Thinking of you both and sending love xx

  • Sonia Heidi Unruhabout a month ago

    We are all crying now ....

  • D.K. Shepardabout a month ago

    So heartbreaking. As Hannah said anticipatory grief is so difficult to experience. Goodbyes are hard even when you know they’re coming

  • angela hepworthabout a month ago

    Heartwrenching work, Paul.

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    The devastation is on the page even as your tears fails to find the edges of your face (see what I did there?). Please accept my condolences. Writing hopefully helps, but there is nothing like a good ugly cry.

  • So glad you have happy memories of your Nonna and Uncle Claudio… thinking of and praying for you all at this difficult time.

  • Gerard DiLeoabout a month ago

    Beautiful and empathy-evoking. Yes...

  • Kendall Defoe about a month ago

    We are here for you, Paul... ❤️

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    Writing is probably the next best thing. If I'm reading this correctly, you are waiting, and that is incredibly hard. All the support we can give from our house, my friend.

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    Anticipatory grief, that waiting for someone to go, when they are already gone, is emotionally so so very hard. You have captured it well, but that's hardly the point. Thinking of you.

  • Ruth Stewartabout a month ago

    Just to let you all know, Paul's uncle has been fighting a cancerous brain tumor for the past couple of years. Sadly he has slipped into a coma and is receiving palliative care now. We are just waiting for the news. He was/is a beautiful kind and generous man; funny and talented. It's actually monstrously unfair to Uncle and all the family. We are all feeling the grief at the moment. Thank you all for the good thoughts.

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago


  • D. J. Reddallabout a month ago

    You have made her pastina immortal, but this is a tribute of a different kind, which is just as powerful and significant. Who among us would not wish to be so fondly remembered?

  • Mother Combsabout a month ago

    Hugs, Paul. I know how it feels to need to cry and can't.

  • Grz Colmabout a month ago

    Can we organise a crying group like those laughing groups you see on TV.. Maybe that’ll help. It might work. I wonder what your grandma asked or if it was just something random? Anyhow this is really relatable.. not for me right now. I think I cry more these days than piss if I’m being honest!! 😅😔 but there was a long duration of my life when no tear would fall. I think we are made up differently and when you spoke of your nonna I’d assumed it was significantly autobiographic.. but I’d been told that certain meds can suppress our emotions ?? I don’t know how you feel about that or if it’s even worth mentioning but that is what my g.p said many years ago. Interesting I thought. Anyhow, thinking of ya and very much liked the tone and honesty of your free verse poem Paul! ☺️👏

Paul StewartWritten by Paul Stewart

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