Weeks and Weeks by Mark Phillips

(“Wisdom puts more strength in one wise person than ten strong men give to a city.” Ecclesiastes 7:19 [The Message])

The strafing lasted longer than expected,
striping the pastimes like highway lines
and everyone thought the heat snakes
rising from the road had been told they
could not last till winter.

And I’m sure no one found the cure
for cancer while
they reloaded their repeaters with
neutron seekers that leave buildings

It takes a blink to kill a thousand,
a millennium to cure a single disease.

It takes an army to decimate
and decades to recreate the
damage done so quickly by boots
trod upon the careless plains.

It takes night and day to reject
each hypothesis that does not measure
against the truth.

It takes weeks and weeks to run equations,
to make persuasions,
to cajole the old-guard into new-peace
by reason.

It takes a careless glance to kill,
a loving gaze to heal
and strong men to gently guide
the weak men who flex their muscles
before audiences who long ago

grew weary of the show.