|The Bobo Doll Experiment|
Every day I am a survivor.
I know before reading the news
by counting throbbing eardrum beat,
touching shoulders and feeling feet
as soles reach for partner soul’s warmth.
Human desires exceed our grasp, the dead
remind us by daily absence
and by the count out from silence
of daily lists of casualties.
Why do we not count down the survivors?
World meters dot info turn-churn
10 more births per second over
seven point three million living—
But they do not subtract the toll
of daily suicide bombers,
inescapable drones, numbers
of children drowned, sacrifices.
They don't record fatalities hidden
in homes or enforced legally
so women pay unequally
with rape, battery, slavery.
Not numb yet, I visualize cartoon
pop-up character Road Runner
and Wily Coyote’s ever-
more complex killing schematics.
The weak outwits the strong but never ends
his life. No Bozo, he waits, he
bounces back, like fall-winter nee
the spring-summer, he cycles on.
Wake up slowly, no number than before,
number ourselves among the in-
evitable ever living
spirit striving on despite all.
We let our reach exceed our grasp as much
as possible—much more as led—
beyond our own living and dead
to where we wake a difference
every day we are survivors.
For my prompt
Copyright © 2015 S.L.Chast