Friday, April 20, 2012

Empathetic Fallacy

How have we become
So obligately social
That we feel a debt of gratitude
To the world for being

Beautiful, as well as vague
Resentment at the unfairness
Of the world when it hurts?

Seated by the window with a view
Of recently leafed-out fruit trees
Partly obscuring the severer beauty
Of the monumental red mesas,

I feel my body as a sack
Of heavy sand and broken glass,
While my daughter naps upstairs

And my wife goes out for a run.
I want to apologize to the day
For not doing enough to savor
Its mid-spring perfection

Of picturesque, painterly clouds
Framed by the blue and sun,
Of green things nodding in breezes,

And I want to castigate
The day for being wholly part
Of the world that has framed me
To yearn, wobble, and die,

Until I remember a baseball field
I saw once in the deep woods,
A collaborative labor of love

By scattered local agrarians
In the far north who banded together
One summer to hew a ballfield
From second-growth spruce and fir.

It was growing over already,
But the boundary, blurred, still
Showed: inside here, the game,

With rules and handshakes,
Self-consciously social conventions;
Outside, over there, encroaching,
The world that is not in the game.

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