As a man may go to Costco,
Buy the jumbo pak of diapers, double liters of
Coke and Diet Coke and a sixpack and stock up on
Doritos and Cheetos and
Eveready batteries, so I perhaps
Formless in the vast republic
Grasp the metaphysical thing, commodity, crucially desired
Hologram of national intent. Caught
In the managed aisle the
Jargon of experts washes o'er the perfectly stacked Special
K, Cheerios, Wheaties, Apple Jacks, and Count Chocula
Low on the shelves that toddlers might harry their
Mothers for sweet breakfast treats. In
Niger the children and livestock go hungry
Once more but a fortified peanut butter paste
Plumpy'nut promises to revive those babies
Quickly who are not yet too far gone.
Research has given us hope that all
Shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well
Till the moment it's not. It's not.
Unto the lord Julian of Norwich poured forth her
Voice. Into the desert the Tuareg
Wander, their herds and children starved. Between ocean
Expanses a people of plenty' chatter brawl and sometimes
Yawn. Days so short it seems the earth is
Zooming unto its longsought anonymous abyss. 


"Poem": Julian of Norwich, fourteenth-century English mystic. She is the author of Revelations of Divine Love.

Maureen McLane, "Poem [p. 33]" from Same Life. Copyright © 2008 by Maureen McLane. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved.

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Source: Same Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008)
More Poems by Maureen N. McLane