And so, now, what shall we do?
How are we to carry on?
In a world where happy times and should-be celebrations
Turn to dust and ash and shots and fire,
To smoke and shouts and weeping eyes,
To cries aloud and silent,
All stifled by the fear.
What’s coming? In the distance?
What atrocity comes next?
Will you slay our sleeping grandmothers?
Hang our dogs from trees?
Poison every lake and river, or simply taint the air?
Kill every living thing?
Or just every hope and dream?
The fear of never knowing the life we all once knew,
The fear those days are over,
The fear he’s won, the fear we’re done.
Where is it that we’re going?
Is there anywhere to hide?
Should we curl up in our own cacoons,
Never trusting, never knowing, never meeting, greeting, loving
Never sharing, shaking hands,
A careless laugh, impromptu hug,
A toast of drinks between close friends
A gathering of protest, of democratic voice,
A gathering for sport for music for fun,
For cars, for food, are these days gone?
How can we go on living,
When he’s plotting in the corner?
How can we go on going when it’s never safe at all?
How do we stop our lives so short we let him know he’s won?
To stay locked up indoors all night,
Homeschool the children in the day,
To watch, a nervous spectator, from the comfort of our homes
As the traditions of our culture stagger on.
Can we, will we, give it all up?
Can we, will we, fix this mess?
Can we stop what we don’t understand?
Will we find a way to stand together?
Or finger-point until we fall?
How can we give up what we love?
How can we not?