Poem: For the Time Being


Author: Samuel Hazo '49

For the Time Being

A day will come when nothing
will matter but the day itself.
No one will care if what’s
predicted in the Farmers’ Almanac
comes true or not – or fret
with crossword puzzles just
to pass the time – or ask
why total frankness is acceptable
in surgery or love or art
but otherwise considered shameful.
A day will come when even
the best will not be good

What’s seen as quality
will crumble under scrutiny.
Total frauds will speak as saints
while torturers receive the eucharist
in public and be blessed by bishops.
When salt exceeds the price
of silver, banks will close.
Drivers will spend a month’s
wages for a tank of gas.
Armies will be staffed by foreigners.
Doctors will be paid in promises.
Gravesites will be taxed as real estate
And levied on the next of kin.
A day will come when no one
will remember who we were
or where we lived or how.
Headlines will exaggerate the trivial
to make the unimportant seem

History will vary
with historians until the past
recedes and disappears like snow.
False prophets will foretell the worst
and be believed because the dreams
of liars are immune to contradiction.
The world will change from what
it was to what it is although
the earth will keep repeating
its ballet in orbit to remind us
every morning that today’s that day.

Samuel Hazo ’49
The Song of the Horse

From The Song of the Horse by Samuel Hazo, copyright 2009 by Samuel Hazo. Reprinted by permission of Autumn House Press.

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