Today's poem is by Grace Bauer

The Cruelest Month

Kill it! A child screams from the sidewalk below,

Her voice shrill with something like terror or joy.
Another girl screeches agreement, and then a boy
Laughs—maybe to prove he's tougher? I don't know.

It's hard to read their intentions from where I lie
On the couch in my study, safe from whatever it is
They fear or hate, and so judge and condemn to die.

I assume it's a bug or a worm—some mindless thing
Exposing itself on the sidewalk in early spring,
Just doing what genetics or instinct compels it to do.
And maybe the children are simply doing that too.

My day, full of sun and books, has been sheer bliss,
Windows open to the sweet warmth of April air—

Something down there needs saving, but I don't dare.

Copyright © 2007 Grace Bauer All rights reserved
from Southern Indiana Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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