Five Minutes of Fresh Air

For Sibdela Zimic, 1986-1995

        Just because the moon
      has forgotten the river
      is no reason for tears.
                    Rather --
     as the hills grow green,
     go count the lengthening
      of the days.  Remember:
                   It is good
      to laugh, and somewhere
           moon and river may
        embrace again, and we
               will set aside
       the sadness of streets
       abandoned to the rain.
         Just because one eye
                 sees an open
       sky while another sees
        only fences, and just
        because the river has
       the sea, does not mean
      we cannot sing.  Still,
it must be said, the children
                   grow weary
       of days without light,
      of sealed rooms without
         a promise of summer.
                    Listen --
       the children are aging
     too quickly beneath this
     amnesiac moon.  Let them
                  go out into
   the park, the hills.  Just
     because we have wept too
      long beside this river,
                       do not
         forget the way light
      bends beside the summer
 shore. Just because someone,
       whose children are not
      kept hidden in basement
    gloom, whose children are
                  not in line
       of fire, cannot decide
      how to end this, cannot
    recall the day, should we
              forget to live?

W. Luther Jett