Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"Worry Wins"


I have worried about the sky,
which doesn't exist.
I've worried about rain,
which is none of my business.

I was trained to worry,
to give a shit,
as the American colloquialism goes.

Not that giving a shit
ever made me effective
at righting wrongs or lefting
righties or injecting decency
into the smug corpse called power.

Now I'm exhausted. Worry
has done won. I care in theory.
In practice I don't give a shit.
Thus I have energy to watch
the twitter-feed, and that's
about it.

It isn't relaxation. Nor
is it fatalism, for I don't
have the juice even to philosophize,
either. That's some sad shit.
Even despair is asking
too much from me. It takes
effort to give up hope.

I'm an old dog lying on a porch
in summer. I can smell
developing events, and my
neck-hairs might rise. But
I can't-won't get up
when that raccoon waddles
past the place, chirping.

Well, maybe tomorrow. Yeah,
maybe tomorrow I'll write a
letter to the editor. And send
it? Wow. Join a march? Lend my
body to a protest, scrape
together some solidarity?
Tell a racist to fuck off!
Today I can't seem to get off
my ass. The situation is
troubling. I'm worried.


hans ostrom 2015


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