Sunday, August 17, 2014


To put things in perspective:
there are children starving
in Africa…
and in India…
and even here− in America ( the Beautiful).
The above−
       a note to self.
My-self:  who, sadly, it is easiest to think of.

The list of what
                 we can’t afford
is growing rapidly.
Meanwhile, we are not in view
of any bright or grand futurity.
The middle class is learning
that the stark black type that wrote them in
and the white blank space that offered room
to move were merely hues….or shades.
Not anything to be counted on.

Now, the gap widens and we more clearly see
the grays defining
just exactly what transgressions truly are.
The grays grasped
like straws, like the slippery lowest rung,
are bleeding up as we begin to understand
what it means to go without.
Oh, Lord, forgive me for hoarding
such loftiness of speculation.
Je suis farci of self.
Hard times will soften hearts or lines.

The underclass, the so-called dregs,
the  demimonde, still by definition work
and the women at the bottom relent to roles
and certain rites of supposed passage, sights
set on some lying light
the end
of a very long tunnel, the flame
anymore barely visible, just the dimmed
orange of a waning candle

Forgive me my judgment of all the women
who walk Van Buren selling selves,
who close their eyes beneath
the looming power anticipating
drug of choice and its promise of relief−
the feeling of (if only fleeting) being at last
reborn; the only promise ever kept. 
Forgive me scorn for those who only
seek asylum, fleeing to a country that at least
has food to offer if not welcome.

As we learn,
now, to live in a nation whose dream has expired,
along with any generation still inclined to mourn
the loss, I ask for pardon
for all previous assumptions. 

I still tell
my children that there are children starving
in Africa…in India…right here, in the land
of vagaries.  We’ve never missed a meal. 
We’ve never walked a mile in a child’s
footsteps on way to well for water. 
So what do we know of need? 
Divorce us, Lord, of separation if you will
or must to break us into recognition. 
Reveal your heartbreak and stay your hand.
Grant us less not more and bind perspective
around our necks.  

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