When the taxes are filed,
The permits paid,
And shopping complete,
The mind wanders toward the margins
And imagines itself
A Viking or Hoplite of old
Savagely beating back wrongs
And setting the world to right
A balance and harmony
Reflected in the cosmos and the soul.
But ask yourself,
Now that the air conditioning has come back on
And the cell phone needs charging,
And you should really be emailing someone back:
Could you sustain the grief and doubt?
Waking each night for the rest of your life
After a great battle
Remembering the faces of your men who died
Wondering if you were right about that defensive position
Or the right time to assault the ridge?
No: in that, there is infinity of doubt and confusion
Only heartache and ulcers remain there.
Instead, sit back
Enjoy the margarine
Bread from machines far away
A cornucopia of tedium to fill the mind
And never, never doubt
Because you have this bread in hand
Discrete, concrete, limited,
Dripping with margarine
Delicious, but not dangerous like butter
Or dreams of heroism.