Why?

Why do we bother, when time is so short and the diurnal demands drain us and we hurt? Why should we continue to beat the drums for peace in our homes and in the streets? This is not a poem, but what follows is. I rarely rhyme, but I love sound, and think perhaps this one shows the childlike side of us that has to ask–why?

The toddler posts her query
with a milk aside. The grandma

notes her question to the priest,
bedside. The student rotates quotes

on his screen, outside. The poet
dotes on quests her leaders have denied.

Why wait and wail and worry if a dream
takes only some crayolas and a tiny team?

Why celebrate with showers of aerial shells
’til blackbirds come crashing, silent cymbals?

Why drop a Molotov or hurl a stone across the fence
when the humans on the other side speak peace?

Why should you defend us in technological glam
when the “enemy” doesn’t even know who I am?

Why’s a decade in Afghanistan not enough?
Does fighting show we’re great, we’re tough?

Why brood on some bloody apocalypse
when the seasons of our lives become blips

on a screen, moments in the whirl
of time? How is war good for a boy or a girl?

Does it teach them to question? To read?
To learn we’re all of clay? Or just to bleed?

About Kathleen McCoy

I'm a poet, a professor, a mother, a wife, a bit of an activist, a lover of the word at http://kathleenmccoy.wordpress.com. Poetry books include Ringing the Changes (Finishing Line Press, 2019), Green and Burning, Glas Agus a Dho (Word Tech, 2016) and More Water Than Words (chapbook, Finishing Line Press, 2017). Books are available from the publishers or Amazon, or order from your local bookseller.
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