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 Eugene, OR
 Claudia Lapp

Here’s the thing:
Mornings should be for caresses,
coffee and biscotti, or, if you ask the cats,
kibbles and sill sitting. As they crunch and jump,
radio news is just noise to them.
If only I could ignore the bleak words fed to us –
ways some want to kill us and we, them
(I won’t name the ways, mornings are for glad things -
squirrel who begs, thrush who trills.)

Politicians and their experts warn:
Evil is everywhere, aiming to strike us
in our kitchens and hot tubs.
Officials advise that safety from horror
can be had with duct tape, plastic sheeting, bleach.
They insist that no such safety exists for the enemy,
that our enemies shall have no more beautiful mornings,
not in Baghdad, Fallujah or Kandahar.

So here’s the thing:
We need words that vibrate quicker
than ones invented by terror and official dread,
so we can start the day like cats and children –
eager to reach for the hours, palms together,
mind eddies for the moment stilled.

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