we pray for change

September 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

so here we are
to speak of change
I must say it seems to me
most people are not particularly
comfortable with it,
take for instance
this fact:
the lamp that
belonged to a beloved aunt has
sat atop the bookshelf
great-grand-dad built in ’35,
together they’ve held
the northwest corner of the living room for the twenty seven years
the house has been in your name
so, why
change now?

coffee every morning at 2:38
work boots on at 4 minutes after 3
out the door 3 0 6
satchel always left hand
keys always right

when the sun comes up
ten million Americans may
look to
the sky with raised brow,
when was it
that it changed to a
duller shade of blue?
only a fraction will
be concerned
with changing it back

sports at 8 after
weather and traffic on the tens
then the news
another tale
of waring factions
and the obligatory refugees

we reach past the
kind of spigot these
refugees scream for,
take up plastic plastic bottles,
never asking ourselves,
when did the water change
from pure to poison?

one to a car
as we drive by landfills
one to a car past empty factories
one to a car past the
gates of a zoo
without wondering
about how little time
before the population of
elephants dips below
the point of recovery

telepromted faces change
with every passing season
but we can’t drag ourselves
away from inherited stations
channel 4 at noon 6 and 11
it’s just habit
you know

cigarette butts
out the window
pesticides to keep the
golf course green
steroids for the milk cow
six hens to a cage
kids on the bus to a shitty school so they can learn to the test
cafeteria genetically modified
macaroni cheese mashed potato
gravy Salisbury steak


there is no way to deny
we got a jones for self destruction
no way to shake the grip of
that burning villages regime changing acquiring wealth
safe guarding the oil supply lines
distribution of arms drug channels
black ops vacuuming up intelligence

we aim a king size hypodermic full of
that sweet mesmerizing materializing
sterilizing generalizing
religiosity loving
legislating medicating over populating mandating agitating frustrating infuriating nectar

we tie off
we find a vein

when the numbing flow takes hold
we watch it all go down again
it is all around us
and when it gets
dark enough in our
little rooms we
turn on our beloved aunt’s lamp
take that special book off
great-grand-dad’s shelf
and open it
to whichever multi translated
passage makes us
feel the best

then we do as
we have been taught

we pray for change

(c) 2013 Fred Whitehead


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