It will be easy, he says, you just
fish a wire down inside the wall,
find the hole you cut, put in
the box and wire it up,
no big deal at all, easy really.
She grimaced immediately,
then turned away from him to sigh,
for she knew that any time a man
decided something was easy,
no big deal, a day or more was gone.
He was convinced he could
do the job simply, save money
with his efforts and at first
it seemed to go well enough,
but that was only at first of course.
Three hours later, little progress
made, but much mess created
she smiled, stroked his back,
handed him his cell phone
and the electricians business card.
Today we want very much to pray
but words fail us yet again, and we doubt
God would hear our entreaty anyway,
since this is a disaster of our own making.
This is the problem of free will, as so many
discovered across Europe during the second
of the wars to end all wars, as did the people
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well.
If God listened we would hear a reply:
“You made this mess, it is up to you to fix it
so get on with it, but do wait until
the pandemic subsides a bit more if you would.”
She wants to know if it is even possible
to make a bandage large enough
to bind the wounds we have inflicted
on a planet which we were told
was ours over which we were
to exercise our wise dominion.
She says it isn’t fair that she will be
left to try to clean up the mess
that we have made for it was our
world too, though she adds, we were
not very good at sharing with others.
I want to apologize and tell her
that she is right, that we adults
have failed her generation but
I know she won’t believe me, for
we could have stopped this, but we
always looked out for ourselves
always wanted just a bit more
always were too busy to notice
assumed the others would handle it
said there was nothing we could do.
We hope one day you will
forgive us although we have done
nothing to merit any absolution.
First appeared in The Poet: A New World, Autumn 2020