Genuinely and truly regretful.
I haven’t done enough,
And I feel the burden
Of my lethargy.
I’ve lived in this exquisite world
For many years now,
Fortunate in every way,
And I feel I’m leaving it in poor condition,
As though I’d made an extravagant breakfast
Filling myself excessively
Then leaving all manner of eggy pans,
Toast crumbs, and buttery knives,
Without any effort to tidy up for anyone coming later.
I’m sorry. It doesn’t feel right.
But may I say in my defense,
I know how to tidy up the kitchen,
But I haven’t known how to save the world.
And I have wanted to;
But I listen to myself and feel
Wishy-washy (which I know sounds
Like a strange choice or words in this context).
There is no doubt I could have done more.
That’s the problem.
But, then there are the poor Filipinos
Caught in the horror of that exploding
Volcano, not to mention the Puerto Rican people
Still suffering from the aftermath of the hurricane,
And now an earthquake.
And, of course, I haven’t mentioned the
Recently discovered fact that a billion birds
Are dying from tall buildings in their way.
While the birds seem less important
Than the Puerto Rican and Filipino people,
I am strangely dismayed by the deaths of
So many whales and dolphins.
However, I haven’t helped any Puerto Ricans,
Not any Filipinos, nor birds, nor cetaceans.
And soon I’ll probably watch young men
Play football. I don’t feel good about this either.
You can see why I’m guilty and remorseful.
I feel as though I learn too much, hear too much,
Too much I feel able to do so little about.
I’m exhausted by awareness.
I want to help friends with troubles,
I’m happy to. But the whales and islanders
Are more complicated burdens.
But still, my beautiful grandson,
Sleeping beautifully below me,
It is to you I’m expressing my remorse
That I have not helped more to leave you
A better world.