You say, We’re doing everything we can.
A long parade steadies itself in the street
as it circles back to end where it began.

Our hometown queen waves slow, her paper fan
sways softly in the lazy summer heat.
You tell me we’ll do everything we can—

but today, on Channel 5, the weatherman
predicted it would rain for five days straight.
We circle back to end where we began:

Blown dandelion seeds, another plan
becomes a tooth in the lion’s maw. Repeat
this fact
, you say, We’re doing what we can.

Rolling down windows in the minivan,
old vets throw candy to the crowd. We wait
to circle back, to end where we began.

On leafy avenues, as children, we ran
faster and farther from the garden gate,
now rusted shut. We’re doing what we can.
But love, it never ends where it began.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 35 Number 5, on page 50
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