I couldn't hear him speak
for his distance made it difficult
for me to understand
for me not to be so cynical.

I could not near imagine
what he had experienced:
deaf ears and moving feet.
no charity, no gaiety,
no frivolity, no cant,
no tutelage and guidance,
no unabated nature.

Everything came difficult
filled with misunderstanding
and here I am standing
and living and laughing;

and there he is crying
and dying and bleeding
and needing and I,
all I am doing is reading
and nodding agreement to,
"isn't that a tragedy?"
while his family cries, whaling,
"isn't this a tragedy?"