What a time you chose to disentangle, friend,
to leap when plummeting’s the rage. Cassandra’s
wailing everywhere with tolling bells, beware,
beware, by millions multipled, through fingertips
and tongues behind their masks of facial books
and other social casques.
I wouldn’t mind so much if all these prophets—
most well meaning, to be sure—were quick as well
to praise when praise is due. Alas, I seldom find
that to be true.
I grew beneath the concave dome of a catastrophist
and did not like it much. Direness shrinks heights
and dulls the taste of sweetness and of life.
Who lays the mat of strife unasked at doors of friends
and kin is fevered, yes, but this I learned and learned again—
contagion is a choice.
And so, the doom prognosticated by the people
I care deeply for and others not so much, I shall ignore.
The oaths they hurl, their smoke bombs, will not break
or cloud my stride. I shall abide content, believing hope,
convinced by you and all you’ve sung to us that death
is but a clearer set of eyes.
© Elaine Stirling, 2016
November 11, 2016