For all we have is what is on our plate,
And words are a poor barrier
We live our lives unknowing what’s to come.
And dates, unmeaning to us, wander by
That will, in time, be first among the sum
Of things we dread – the days that signify –
But not in elementary school. Back then
We wrote the date in pencil on a page
As neatly as we could; as likely then,
We saw it as one more step to an age.
We struggled to go forward, ever so:
To reach for more and better up ahead –
To touch and taste, to feel, to move, to grow —
And lead, instead of feeling always led –
But where then is that person? What has gone?
And is our xenophobia so free
That we reject those diff’rent than ourselves
Including people who we used to be?
For it feels like we covered up the child,
Or hid away in closets in our house
That which we find embarrassing and wild,
With different views than those we now espouse –
For like the earth, our lives are ever moved.
We hate the person that were; but yet,
Can have our doubts we really have improved,
Or that we even know ourselves, or get
The reasons why we did the things we’ve done.
Then words, like songs, come meaningless and pure
And soothe our foreheads, like the summer sun,
And leave us no more knowing, but more sure.
But words are a poor barrier to fate:
And all, at last, we have
Is on our