Watching The River Freeze

Just how are you supposed to respond
when you watch a revolution die?
How do you not become a hardened cynic,
or bleed away into rusty apathy,
crushed under the thumb of the oligarchs?
All lofty idealism I had has turned to despair,
as I watch these shameless rich
try to sell us on their false morals
and pretend that they aren’t all corrupt.
When the river freezes over, do the fish beneath perish?
A voice in the wilderness guides this lost wanderer.
It speaks; its voice restores true north
to this confused compass.
What winds can blow, rage on.
Do not be afraid.
Fear lets false prophets and salesmen control you,
takes away your liberty.
Face this sad world with compassion,
turn your dark eyes toward the desolate,
and fear not poverty, suffering or death,
for these come for us all.
Do not hide in the cult of youth and pray never to feel old.
Instead, seek that which unites us, binds us, makes us one.
Trade greed for love, and let justice, true justice, of the earth itself, be done.

Chani Zwibel is a graduate of Agnes Scott College, a poet, wife and dog-mom who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but now dwells in Marietta, Georgia. She enjoys writing poetry after nature walks and daydreaming. Read other articles by Chani.