Poetry Porch: Forgiveness


A Child of the Millennium 
by Charles Fishman

He’s five months old nowa little short
on experiencebut if he could speak,
Jake would sit with the Dalai Lama on a red
and golden throne and hold forth on happiness
and compassion     on freeing the mind from vengeance
and regret     and living in exile from the sacred home:
he’s seen the end of days . . . and the beginning.

He doesn’t know about race or gender
or that we are murdering the planet     that the earth
is smoldering with underground fires and with the bone-
fires of hatred         He doesn’t know about ethnicity
or religion     and will not take with him into the new century
memories of calcined corpses or an interior landscape
peopled with napalmed children.

What Jake is best at has nothing to do with genocide
or the acid tides of history         He travels in realms
where tenderness is a face that brushes his face
He feels the strength of those around him     and their love
and time ticks at his wrist like the gentlest rain         His eyes
are the most translucent lakes, his smiles tiny suns
that shine a clear light on the living. 

Copyright © 1999 by Charles Fishman. Used with permission of Charles Fishman.