Even with all the forgetting,
Sometimes feels unsupportable.
When there was so much less to hold,
An aging autocrat allowed
A magazine interviewer
To ask him his world strategy.
He answered, "peace, peace, and once more
Peace." He died shortly thereafter.
A child reading the interview
In the land of the enemy
Never forgot that answer, learned
How to say it in the language
In which the autocrat spoke it.
It's bric-a-brac now in the brain
Of that child, forgetful old man,
Fretting about the gathering
Weight of twilight on soft shoulders,
Sitting beside a stream in gloom,
Thinking "peace, peace, and again, peace."