What need of poets

What need of poets when pyres are lit
On sidewalks – shall I say ‘let us go then,
You and I, when the evening is spread out
Against the sky’ and patients no longer
Etherized are strewn in our way? What need
Of imagery for a people starved
Of oxygen? Will metaphor bridge the
Chasm between the living and those
Unable to breathe? Should I not, instead,
Stake out my ground, and as a signpost might,
Point and direct the onlooker to parks
Abloom with pyre-beds, and flames that feed
Oxygen-giving trees with their dead? When
The iron hearts of crematoriums surrender
The poet needs must accept defeat. No mere
Broken heart melting with pity that still
Beats in my wordless body can compete

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