Gunfire at Night

by Pat Duffy Hutcheon

A symphony of sound and fire
exploding high above the bay;
our children, relishing the dark,
pause momentarily their play.
What random fortune brought us safely here,
where gunfire is no cause to hide in fear?

We are the favored of the earth;
unearned, unwarranted our ease;
cascading color, sound and form,
created splendor; ours to seize.
As costly fireworks flash across our skies --
how could we hear those far-off tortured cries?

How could we see the children cringe,
as cannons echo flood on flood.
How could we see the severed limbs,
the shattered walls; the seeping blood?
As other skies by artists crazed are rent,
to rain down death upon the innocent.

Perhaps our volleys and our smoke
are viewed by creatures poised in space;
fireworks and war, as equally
mad follies of the human race.
And both as signs that we are on the wane,
to be replaced by life more wise and sane.