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Don't Think Governments End The World

Molly Peacock
From:   Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems. W.W. Norton / Penguin Canada, 2002.


Don't think governments end the world. The blast
the burnings, and the final famine will
be brought on by mistake. "I'm sorry," the last
anxious man at the control panel will
try to say, his face streaked with panic, red
hives rising on his neck. He'll have been a jerk
all his life, who couldn't get through his head
that his mother couldn't love him. Work
at the panel would give him the control
that she had denied him again and again.

Thus the world will burn through the central hole
of his being. He won't really be sure-again,
having never been assured of her- of what
he is supposed to do. That is, he'll be sure
at every exercise until the shut
blank door of the final moment injures
his gerrybuilt control and BANG, BANG, BANG.

It won't be his fault, his childish mother's fault,
or the fault of what produced her or what
produced what produced her back through the vault
of savage centuries. If he'd just known what,
he'd have done it to please. He might have known himself
through what he'd felt, and thus might be clear.
She might have said, "That's nice, dear,"
and we wouldn't be dead.

Aren't you scared of your life in his hands?
But of all the men whose hands you'd hope to be in,
Name the one you're sure of. The history of nations
is cold; the world burns by generations.



Molly Peacock's works copyright © to the author.


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