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Can't They?

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in apprehensive silence

waiting for the next shoe/bomb to drop

hearing both sides blaming

each pointing accusatory fingers

claiming the other guy started it

choosing up sides




I don't want to play

I've got my school clothes on

can't I take my marbles

go back home for cookies

isn't it time for cartoons?


they're mean too though —

coyote never gonna win

hungry Sylvester

getting the shit beat outta him again

who are these new guys anyway?

bearded x-man and Texas power ranger

I don't think this show's gonna last

too scary too real two guys

in front of millions

each selling their own brand

of coco-cocoa puffs


want to grab Maria and run

let the jets and sharks rumble alone

this time

but this isn't a movie


or cartoon


or game


these are real live families

brothers and fathers and sons

daughters too


how could we have forgotten?


Life is to be cherished

we are to be loved

can't they look

at their sleeping sons and daughters

feel their foreheads

brush away that stray hair

lean in close enough

to inhale a whiff of their innocence

remember that's what’s important—

to have a place tomorrow for them—

to have a tomorrow for them—

please make them see.

please make them see.

please make them.

please see.


©John Hathaway 9-25-01

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