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About this Poem 

“‘Ode to the Unbroken World, Which Is Coming’ is a poem that’s trying hard to be optimistic, affirmative. I hope it achieves those conditions at times. However, those loudhailers mounted on trucks at the end of the poem make me a little nervous.”
Thomas Lux

Ode to the Unbroken World, Which Is Coming

It must be coming, mustn’t it? Churches
and saloons are filled with decent humans.
A mother wants to feed her daughter,
fathers to buy their children things that break.
People laugh, all over the world, people laugh.
We were born to laugh, and we know how to be sad;
we dislike injustice and cancer,
and are not unaware of our terrible errors.
A man wants to love his wife.
His wife wants him to carry something.
We’re capable of empathy, and intense moments of joy.
Sure, some of us are venal, but not most.
There’s always a punchbowl, somewhere,
in which floats a…
Life’s a bullet, that fast, and the sweeter for it.
It’s the same everywhere: Slovenia, India,
Pakistan, Suriname—people like to pray,
or they don’t,
or they like to fill a blue plastic pool
in the back yard with a hose
and watch their children splash. 
Or sit in cafes, or at table with family.
And if a long train of cattle cars passes
along West Ridge
it’s only the cattle from East Ridge going to the abattoir.
The unbroken world is coming,
(it must be coming!), I heard a choir,
there were clouds, there was dust,
I heard it in the streets, I heard it
announced by loudhailers
mounted on trucks.

Copyright © 2015 by Thomas Lux. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2015 by Thomas Lux. Used with permission of the author.

Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux is the author of several books of poetry, including To the Left of Time (Mariner Books, 2016) and New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995 (Houghton Mifflin, 1997).

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Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
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   Boil it down: feet, skin, gristle,
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2