Peace in Our Time

As the beggar with the battered face limped along the long line of cars, driver after driver looked away, disgusted, afraid, wishing, like me, the light would hurry up and change, but, no, he arrived, clutching his cup, and, for all my alleged intelligence, I still didn’t know what to say, so I just said hello.

 

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Walking along the dissolving shoreline, head down, shoulders hunched against the cold, I’m just about to past the lifeguard shack, boarded up for winter, when the gull on the roof, windblown envoy from an extinct nation, makes a noise like “Ha-ha!” as if finding in our shared surroundings something roaringly funny of which I am unaware.

 

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How much easier it is to start a war than end one. Three-thousand protesters singing while lighting candles is beautiful. Some of you might hear distinct words, but others, only sobs or sighs. This place will burn.

 

***

Howie Good, Ph.D., a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of  I Am Not a Robot from Tolsun Books and A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel from Analog Submission Press, both published in 2018.

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