For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Chaos Mandy challenged me with “the vomit of life,” and I challenged Nimue with “there are lemons, oh so many lemons.” Note: this piece is not especially pleasant, so for my more easily depressed readers, I would recommend searching for a poem on my blog with peaches in the title — you’ll like it better.
What if all the shit in the world is inevitable?
What if the drive bys,
the drug use,
what if it is unrelenting and predictable?
What if one person slamming another person
against a wall,
ripping their clothes,
what if that just happens?
What if we could smell sweat and fear,
the way dogs do?
Would we close in on the weak
like schoolyard bullies?
What if cruelty is —
a fact of life —
simple and realistic?
Should we stand down
in the fight to protect
poor or hungry people?
Does it matter
whether the vulnerable have a hero?
Should we promote selfishness
in the name pragmatism?
What if the beauty —
the glory of sunshine in a crisp sky,
of the sea
or the purple mountains
what if the beauty of the stranger smiling on the street
or of the child who finds joy in a pigeon landing
or in eating an orange —
is only a façade?
What if it doesn’t balance on the scales with ugly?
What can we do
when we realize that we are addicts,
when we see weakness and cruelty
in our own souls?
What can we possibly say if the shit is inevitable?