Noughts & Crosses

The Polling Place by Gary Varvel

Noughts & Crosses

Ah, to be young in the lands of the free –
With the whole of your glorious future before you,
And giving no thought what that future may be.
Ah, to be young when the whole world adores you,
With no need to pay us a thought in return.
Enjoy your sweet apathy, ere you must learn.

Ah, to be only a shrug and a sigh,
To be ever-unsullied of needing to know.
You’re glad to be asked, yet you give no reply,
As our ministers come and our generals go.
Your life is for dreaming and dancing and drifting,
And never mind queuing and choosing and sifting.

Ah, to be young on a planet so old,
With its taxes and statutes and loopholes and blame,
Where fraud is rewarded with knighthoods and gold,
And where ev’ryone grumbles and goes on the same.
Ah, to be young and to not give a damn
For the stumps of the candidates promising jam.

Oh, to be agèd and cautious and wise,
In a compromised world with a weather-worn hope –
We’re hypocrites, surely, and all you despise,
As you wash off our greys with your black-and-white soap.
Ah, to be young in these battles we’re waging –
You never get jaded by never engaging.

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