You Never Get One Thing

by Greg Kosmicki

This notebook is so old the paper is yellow.
I wonder where the tree grew.

Seems like you never get one thing without losing another.
There’s some sort of law about that
to do with finite resources.

Somewhere some guys have figured out to the exact ounce
how much my life has cost the earth,
how many people have died that I might live.

Start with my parents, and theirs, and all who died
because of them. It’s like we drip in blood.
Who can wake up then tomorrow morning,
do the tasks set out before them
as if it was their work and their work only?
Who has the courage to look out to the east again
at someone else’s sun?

[via American Life in Poetry]

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