Futility 2021

“—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth’s sleep at all?”
(“Futility” by Wilfred Owen)

Your sugar plastic meat free life,
your efforts to conserve,
preserve environmental health,
consumption of some friendly bugs
and supplements
(because because) and seven hours
every night, and exercise,
(yes)
runs and walks and weights
to make you strong and pump
your cells with oxygen
that keeps you toned, and feeds your brain,
which you work more with puzzles,
articles in journals
and the latest books you load
onto devices and devour
to stay enlightened,
be informed beyond the news
you watch each night.

And when the virus hit,
you did your part as fiercely
as it adapted,
and masked and Zoomed
and ordered in,
and brought meals to your neighbors,
wept as family friends
got sick and died,
attended funerals remotely,
brought righteous fury to your ballots
while reveling in advances
that brought Mars into your home
and kept researchers toiling
in their labs for a vaccine,
the chance to bare your arm,
and feel safe again with friends,
in transit, stores,
one day, one day…
(because you’re a believer, dare to hope)

Only to have it all undone,
By easy purchase of a gun.

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