First: make long lists of what you do
not have. Do whatever it takes to get it.
Second: hurry up. Tell your children to
hurry up. Again and again and again.
But really: let your children do
as they please, whenever they please.
Meanwhile: slog, grind, slog, grind. Slog and grind
some more. So you can buy all those things.
Then: when injustice sweeps away the fruit
from the fields of the poor, say nothing.
Also: befriend the truculent. Learn
their ways. When entangled, shout louder.
Next: dwell on disputes. Answer first, then
listen. Have no mind to understand.
Finally: add field to field to field to field—
until there is room for no one but you.
And when the dry grass sinks down in the flame,
thrusting us all into the thick darkness,
remind yourself that though you
make many prayers, He will not listen.
Cover image by JORGE LOPEZ.
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