For better or worse we're all found wanting.
Mercy is better, the Prophets proclaimed,
an eye for an eye leaves everyone maimed.
Reason is better, Philosophers taught,
Replace superstition with logical thought.
Freedom is better, our Forefathers wrote,
each man has value so each gets a vote.
They’ll have things better, a father’s firm vow,
to build for their future, I’ll sacrifice now.
I’ll kiss it better, a mother consoles;
whatever it takes to make them feel whole.
Each day gets better, a small child’s belief,
parent protected from all harm or grief.
Things used to be better when I was young;
the old man's complaint rolls right off the tongue.
Things will get better as soon as I'm grown,
the young boy's hope is quite commonly known.
Things should be better, the grown man laments,
weighed down by cares and a life he resents.
Life will get better, the gay daughter sighs,
when I ditch this town and find my own pride.
Help us find better the pregnant teen prays,
while walking the street with no place to stay.
We could be better, the battered wife sobs,
if he'd quit the drink and go find a job.
Please make things better, the refugee begs,
slumped at the wall with bone weary legs.
Let me be better, the immigrant pleads,
working three jobs in his bid to succeed.
When is our better? The working poor ask,
stuck on the ladder below middle class.
My way is better, the demagogue shouts,
don't ever question and don't ever doubt.
We can be better, a promise belied
by a base that's addicted to anger and lies.
Our side is better, the rally mob screams,
stepping on fingers and trampling dreams.
My God is better, televangicals preen,
send a donation to wash your sins clean.
Money is better, the wealthy ones say,
privilege belongs to those who can pay.
Whiter is better, the nationalist screed,
to justify hate it's all that they need.
Kindness is better, the good book proclaims,
love one another to honor His name.
Once we were better and can be again,
let truth be our lamp and darkness will end.
Work for the better, the good must be earned,
if we overcome hate, then hope can return.
Terrence G. Fisher 2019