Gentle as humans can aim to be, gentler still
is called for around the softest creatures, does
who idealize as a reflex gesture. They’re defenseless
against all sorts of shocks. We try not to name
calamities. No one levels with the starry-eyed ones,
saying, listen, the world is the world. Sorry for that,
fellow traveler. Easy as we’ve learned to hold a thread,
there’s easier yet. But we do know the real names
of the old-time Gods, the flawed ones who were toppled,
whose people set them aside. Pride and fear of enemies,
the building blocks of history. Which woods glade,
what Eden-ized bubble makes persistent optimists?
How can they live down in the same milieu we do,
and still sing those Pollyanna songs? It’s a marvel
they should bottle. Folks would pay a pretty penny
to believe that goodness will prevail.