MY POEM TODAY coincides with the daily breaking news. More disasters, hunger among children caught in the havoc of war. One gets up from bed, looks out of the window—another gloomy day, overcast sky, chilly, too, for the last hurrah of summer.
The golden light glistening on a black birch…
tells it all. How glorious can that summer sheen
be, seen against the mottled birch branches?
How crisply clear could a day be when cackles
of hungry fledgling crows remain unanswered?
Is it the aborted cry that restores a morning calm?
Have all the querulous puling benumbed this
valley into a lull not unlike that of a dead day’s
silence? Let them beg all they want. Let them cry.
Does anyone hear the starving orphan’s plea
cutting through these barriers of pine and poplar?
Do we hear them still erupting from Haiti’s debris?
Are there cankered mouths in Ethiopia waiting
for morsel? Can anyone locate the burnt slums
now floating with lilies and dog’s carrion in floods
all over the earth, from Manila to Missouri, from
China to India, from Brazil to temblor-struck Chile?
Do we still remember the children of New Orleans?
Their cri d’couer have not stopped, but the crows
have ceased. I notice the bright day break through
the swaying willow trees, but my morning tea is cold.