05 August 2018

Apology from My Generation

This morning I was stricken by
the need to write a piece
to celebrate the birthdays
of my mother and my niece.
Though two weeks separate their dates
one poem must need suffice
which, like its predecessors,
mixes craft with bad advice.
One may expect nonagenarians
to focus on the past;
while 20-somethings scan the globe
and wonder what will last.
Which be the case for either of you
is a matter of conjecture;
my generation was that of
the Conscientious Objector.
But consciousness gets battered by
the blitzkrieg of deceit
that marks our education,
be it school or in the street,
leaving us to choose between
the numbing of our senses
and standing up for principles,
rejecting all pretenses.
Many were the facts we learned,
our vantage that of miners;
some wayward groundhogs rose to view
the hand of the designers,
which now ungloved leaves fingerprints
undeterred by detection,
confident how to subvert
results of an election.
What power do we have against
the money and the lies
but our inner Alexandria
who cannot compromise?
Well may you ask how I dare
confuse this celebration
of your chronological ages
with the status of our nation.
Each of us has finite time
to better our surroundings.
We’ll run aground this charter boat
if we don’t watch the soundings.
For our time is a gift not just to
us but all encountered.
So why could I not have done more
to stop things heading downward?
To leave an earth behind me
where every child has chances
to live, to breathe, to eat enough,
to sing and make up dances.
And though I’ve loved my countrymen
my love was insufficient
to mollify their fears,
kick down the walls resistant
to the light, to the darkness,
to the healing of their sorrow
that bars their playing forward,
and makes their days so hollow.
But I’ll refuse to give up trying
if you will do the same;
and one day, through this unspoken pact,
we’ll redesign the game.