And why have I survived

And why have I survived?
I have a purpose here; I must.
And it is not enough to say
it is, of course, just what I think it is:
to be a parent to my kids, to stare
in awe, in wonder, at grandchildren,
to bury our father, our mother,
to keep our company, state, hospital,
army, our church going –
No, all these things we might
try to put our names to,
those who fell, they also could,
they did perhaps and still
they’re gone; they leave us
now with still this unanswerable
why me? why me?
What is there in all this great
roar of world that I have still to see
and taste before work is done?
What promise am I keeping
with myself, what learning,
crying, hoping, despairing,
loving – yes – what loving
have I yet to do?

Haj Ross
Spring 1991

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