Beverly Finney’s “Just Below The Surface” after Fanjoy Labrenz

imageBeverly Finney reads her poem at the September 2016 Art of Poetry. This is the last post in that series. Check back next week to view poets at work in the December 3 event at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.


by Beverly Finney
after “Orlando 49” by Fanjoy Labrenz

Atrocity has always lurked just below the surface
of our daily hustle and bustle, our habits, social
organizations, phrases, smiles.
–Czeslaw Milosz, poet and essayist

I do not understand us.

If it be true we hanker for connection,
why all the desire for separation?
If we believe in God, where is the action
speaking louder than our words?
If peace is our personal longing,
how is it we are so ready to fight?

I do not understand us.

If we say love is the answer,
what’s the reason for all this hate?
How can we insist those things we
cherish be denied to someone else?
Why is it we need an “other,”
to find the value in ourselves?

I do not understand us.

How can good people be seduced
to the horror of the unthinkable?
Where is the soul switch that
keeps us from crossing that line?
What can one lone person do
that makes any difference?

I do not understand us. And I wonder,
is it that we do not understand
Or that we do, and it is more
than we can bear
to see in the light?

About missmellibrary

A children's librarian who loves to excite youth about reading!
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