(New year poem, December 2012)
In your dreams, they are there,
threading beads on a string of years,
molding clay with small warm hands,
and you awaken to find them gone.
This is the part that pinches my heart
in a vice that must be empathy. The cruel
disappointments of grief, the indelibility,
while others look away and forget. Sandy Hook,
Yemen, Gaza. Someone always points
a finger—on Facebook, the news.
Machine guns, mental illness untreated,
spirits unfed while we’re encumbered and fat,
stress on families, videos, games teaching
violence, abortion used carelessly as birth
control, myths of redemptive violence,
militaries larger than countries.
Earth’s destruction. Self.
Pick one agenda. Run with it.
Why can’t we admit: all of these things make us sick?
The vivid constellation of our violence, crippling
imbalance, dominance we carve out and serve. Here,
let me make it clear: we can choose to do better.
We can choose to do better starting today.