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To the Woman on the Porch Steps
She sits on the concrete steps,
hair pinned up in a bun,
sipping from a plastic, pink cup.
The setting sun burns against the clouds,
and she ponders prices.
The strawberries are up to five dollars now,
and milk is no longer a quarter.
She supposes it’s just another result of time,
but remembers the price of gasoline;
with great expansion comes great expense.
Her baby plays in the yard,
back against the picket fence.
This child does not know its role in the next generation,
a generation destined to clean the mess
left behind by their forefathers,
or else put an end the punitive cycle of God’s test.
They’ll pay the price of their fathers’ mistakes,
they’ll sow what others have reaped;
the cup runneth over again.
But maybe, just maybe,
that child and his generation will be the one generation
the world has been waiting on.
Meanwhile, the mother remains
thinking out of frustration.
The price of love is much too high;
loving someone shouldn’t take heroics—
Romeo and Juliet was a tragedy, not a romance.
The fight for the right to love is something
that should only play out in a bad Hallmark movie.
Belief is in worse shape than love,
(believe it or not)
claiming soldiers, brothers and mothers;
inciting the search for a lost white dove.
It’s the clockwork behind the bomb of an extremist,
and the hands of time are never on your side.
But belief is also the hand of God,
the miracle of Christmas in a small child’s eye.
Belief is a blessing and a curse from Pandora’s wicked box,
splitting a black and white view of the world into
a million fractions of grey.
The sun has slipped behind the horizon,
but the clouds still grasp its blazing color.
The mother still sits, pondering,
while her child goes nowhere,
with his back still against a wall.
Then it hits her, like a final bang of an epiphany:
life is priceless, but the offer lies in your hands.