May you be cursed by living in interesting times,
someone famous once said, and we certainly are,
the little fires of terrorism flaring up all over,
the fear of a larger conflagration fanned
by the rumor mills, kindled by TV—
How do we live, if this day might be the last?
My new grandson is three months old; when he smiles,
it’s not with his mouth, but with his entire body.
I say we need to start marching, put one foot in front
of the other. We need to sift gold from sand, truth
from image, throw the lying snakes
out in the grass. Down in the meadow, daisies
are massing in protest, and wise women
tend their herb gardens, where rockets
of purple sage and yellow loosestrife are blooming,
stamens and pistils cocked. Let’s sow wildflowers,
not discord. There are eighteen different shapes
in the animal cracker zoo. The Eskimos have thirty-four
names for snow. How many ways can we wage peace?
What kind of coin are you hoarding in your pocket
to pay Charon to ferry you across?