Perhaps it is the early morning
before people wake and the empty
house, save my sleeping wife who
must rest for her work day, or this
old room having been here for so long
containing the footprints of the
children gone their separate ways.

I feel alone, a little used up and set
aside in this divided world. My
closest friend argued that my pacifism
is misplaced as we stood under an oak
with the campfire dancing upward, and
factions of my family judge me misguided.
My convictions feel like chains.

'Why can't we all just get along,' plays
sadly in my head. Yet I know we are
victims of our visions. I can no more
surrender my sense of life's purpose
than those who would have me believe
their way. All my children are here with
me with small hands and trusting eyes,

then I blink and the walls are a different
color and the window frame has changed.
We are at war. America, the swift and
fierce, plays nightly on my screen and my
feeble fist, shaking in protest, is impotent.
I cannot make the world for those trusting
eyes to be a shared vegetable garden.

Nor, it seems, can I pretend acceptance.
Thus, I am alone, shrunk by my dream of
bucolic sweetness with no tools to answer
those with all the answers. I am painted
into a foolish corner, unable or unwilling
to take the more accepted path. Come
light, give me practical tasks to stem my pain.