I’m Still Here

I promised back then that if one day our situation worsened to the point
where people became belligerent and screamed at each other,
all the time angry over nothing,
would curse and shove and spit on one another,
fight with lies and fists and clubs and knives and guns,
attack people buying milk or gas,
attending school or church,
walking to ballet, traveling on planes,
or simply passing through a neighborhood,

I decided back then I would move out of the world,
fly to some distant world where tolerance and kindness,
beauty and lower blood pressure prevailed.

I knew I couldn’t live where our city sidewalks would be dressed
in anger and hatred and violence,
had become someplace where goodwill and mutual respect could longer thrive,
where no one and nothing could controvert all that is ugly in our nature.

If that ever happened, I vowed
I would throw in the towel
and exit the ring.

Well, that time has come,
accelerated by this pandemic
and evil rhetoric,

but I’m still here,
still hanging in there
like the cat i’th’poster.
Waiting for what?

I just can’t seem to give up.

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