today

what does it mean
to stand or not stand?
who decides justice, or mercy?
a sandwich lies on the plate, half-eaten,
a song half-sung,
a crime half-committed.
souls rise up from the earth,
and from small clay jars on the mantel,
even from the ocean.
pets also, and cobras,
and circus elephants who ceased
their performances
a half-century ago.
today is the day of new beginnings,
surely not of endings?

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