Robert VazquezPacheco

Rookie (March 16,1956 / New York, New York)

The Lucky Ones - Poem by Robert VazquezPacheco

We could not save them. Despite our best efforts, despite
The purity of our rage, despite the beauty of our weapons

Despite the immensity of our love, the intensity of our
Desire, we were unable to save them. And so we are

Diminished. The night sky is not as bright, flowers are not
As beautiful, love does not intoxicate nor art transport us

Because we could not save them. Because we could not
Arrest the progress of the enemy, time became our enemy

On bodies that became battlefields, contested territories
Which grew smaller each moment. Time became a pernicious

Snail dragging our lives moment by moment. Each moment,
Each activity, each mistake now acquires an audience of

Unseen participants, silent and generous witnesses who
Much to our guilty relief neither condemn or blame. They

Do not judge because they were there. They stood at our
Sides as we fought and smiled with us when we snatched

The occasional victory. They nursed us when we fell back
Exhausted and demoralized and comforted us despite the

Fact that they were the ones who needed our strength and
Comfort. Here is the supreme irony which now, after all this

Time we understand, as we lie in our beds, embraced by cold memories, held by an unrelenting remorse, wracked by visions

Of what might have been, we understand, in the silence of
The darkness that they are the lucky ones

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Poem Edited: Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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