May 23, 1972
We sat in a place and held hands in the meadow.
We laughed at a squirrel and heard the bird song.
The joy of our spot our hearts couldn’t hide.
We’d return many times with a picnic and wine.
But now it is taken, the forest pushed back,
A great filthy factory turned the earth black.
“Oh, the smoke chokes the air and the water is brown,
The squirrel is dead, and the bird nowhere found.”
On yesterday’s quietness my thoughts were so gay,
The sun shone in yellow to brighten the day.
The feelings so good, we danced, and we smiled,
I touched my wife’s belly, large with our child.
A hammer then swings, and an arm falls away,
Michelangelo’s Piaté lies smashed on this day,
“Oh, the world is so full of those who take joy,
In snatching at beauty to caste it away.”
I look for the answers to questions that rise,
And pull my intrigue like a full-moon tide.
I give them my thoughts and revel in their depth,
Get lost in desire for the goal of my quest.
My peace is then shattered, anger builds like a dam,
I remember a place called Vietnam.
“Oh, the bodies lie rotten of young men who died,
Each one like my brother, each one like my child.”