“And indeed it could be said that once the faintest stirring of hope became possible, the dominion of plague was ended.” – Albert Camus, The Plague
My eighteen-month-old watches Barney at breakfast.
In his favorite episode, the lesson is that one should
always be honest and play by the rules. This morning
I snickered, thinking of billionaires and CEOs and Donald
Trump. To be trapped in an era, this era, is the poet’s
nightmare, challenge, and delight. O future readers—
if there will be readers—what will you make
of this? What shall I—what will we—bequeath you?
There are no easy answers to the problem of life.
Still, what horror to accept this breach of trust, this
plague of lies, little one! Will you accept my apologies,
though you are too young to understand?
A donut shop recently ended its discount for police—
it is my dream that you will not make sense of this,
my son. They did it because Black lives still don’t
matter. Some are protesting the store, as though
they were hypochondriacs or bad actors feigning death.
Are they truly outraged? What passes for outrage these
days? Richard, my love, my heart, I can’t tell you
to play by the rules. Not now. Not yet. May the rules
be just when you are old enough to follow them.
‘Till then, disobey with me, disobey me if you must!
Question everything, even this…
My charge and joy is to give you cause to hope.