Peace on Earth
Pouring in through eyes and ears
played by mesmerized folks, thumbs
rapidly moving across the controllers
bodies filled with adrenaline with nowhere to go.
So they channel it, use it, make those
eyes and ears and thumbs move faster,
fast-twitch brain activity,
and they destroy the enemy combatant
or are themselves destroyed.
When they come out of the trance,
likely because their bodies’ needs
can no longer be ignored,
they have that long-distance stare
snipers have and they look around them as if
to refamiliarize themselves with reality.
“Supper’s almost ready.”
“Oh good, I’m starving.”
“So, is there peace on earth, yet?”
I ask it sarcastically, but they answer seriously.
“No way, mom, there’s no peace on earth
til everyone’s dead.”
That thought, though harsh, rings true. Because we humans,
we strive and fight and struggle and compete.
And when people ask for peace on earth,
what they mean is for everyone to get along
and play nice. But what they don’t realize is that
it means they also must play nice.
For true peace, they can no longer complain
about the neighbor’s muscle car or their sister’s new husband.
They can no longer gossip about
the new woman at the church and question her morality.
For true peace, they can no longer fight with their spouse
about bills or cheat on their taxes or
keep the extra change they mistakenly got from the cashier.
And though some may try, it would be untrue to believe
that everyone could or would try.
So, the frank honest truth is, there really can’t be peace on earth.
Not unless all the people on it have gone.