Oh please please please let me not step
on snails any more, it provokes
moments of panic and questions.
Like what makes a snail the lesser?
We all squirm and have our dark shells.
Entire belief systems are crushed,
just like that. By small accident.
If the snail doesn’t matter, then…
My hopes and dreams bypass the snail
and I can live in a dream world
beyond, where political talk
never betrays anyone. Where
good men are honoured. Good people.
There once was a world where good reigned.
The demons got bored and planned coups.
Death meant nothing to them. They ran
in the streets screaming slanderous
screams that cut the good buildings down.
They wrote newspapers and chattered
in their odd logic, disregarding
tears, emotions. They thought little.
They rolled around in little shells
like a physical process, then
I knew. I was better than them.
When the parent cries – don’t
leave us – to the child – calls
to life’s dull ear, a pure
burst or depth of feeling
pours, tears and distances
And when the parent speaks
from hope in a moment
when all hope just popped off
the map like a rusty
paperclip – leaving us
with a torn old damp map
and the coming storm dusk
When the child lies wounded
and they have stepped in – now
aware or not, they give
help as if it were breath
at the end of all things –
when they build love again
from broken pieces – when
the glass was so shattered
it seemed impossible
– they build a cracked mirror
which is just good enough
and we see ourselves smile
And when the parent says
I can’t carry it for
you – but I can carry
you – up death’s dusty slopes
at the end of all time
I can stand here and know
You who brought us here – you
who spend each moment with
the careful thrift of love
You who listen, who stand
who let us go; may you
sing in soft new bindings