Magazine | May 19, 2014, Issue

Poetry

ONE LIVED AND ONE DIED

Young men and cars offer

the joy of coming of age

with the risks of tragedy.

There is the monstrous injustice

of the death, banal statistical

references, and life goes on.

And the loss goes on. It does not end.

Prayer and afterlife, meaning beyond

anything a parent, or loved one,

or considerate passerby, can suggest

have their value, and comfort.

See the pain in a different way,

with a deeper understanding,

within the heritage of experience

each soul builds as life goes on.

Fine. Even helpful. The loss remains.

It is immutable, irreconcilable,

full of a despair suffering a

random, heartless god, or none,

nothing, just the void of death.

But it is the loss that is the void,

not the death; courage can come

from it, cultivated in memory

or little rituals of remembrance

as a survivor’s stiff duty, possible

by the edge of love that is not

some stepchild of despair,

that is a force of its own.

As to the young man who lived,

the car destroyed, walking away

with barely a scratch, another

car, another year, another day;

there is no answer to that, either,

only the great, inexplicable

mercy of a second chance.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Liberal Slumlords

When Donald Sterling, the notoriously racist billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was caught on tape saying hateful things about African Americans, it sparked a torrent of news coverage, ...
Politics & Policy

Using Race

Each time the federal government of these United States comes close to emerging from its eternal psychosis on the question of using a crude system of racial classifications to condition ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Old School

I’m, like, digging Charles Murray’s new book, which grew — at the suggestion of his colleague Karlyn Bowman — out of in-house tips on grammar and usage for super-smart kids ...
Country Life

Into the Woods

Every month I get a haircut; every decade my property gets a tree cut. This was a regular feature of old-time husbandry, as reflected in fiction or correspondence where one ...
Politics & Policy

All-American

In “Among the Euro-Weenies,” a classic report on European attitudes toward America in the 1980s, P. J. O’Rourke describes going to dinner in London. “Your country’s never been invaded,” sniffs ...

Sections

Athwart

Hashtag Diplomacy

From the Twitter account of State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, April 2014: “The world stands #UnitedforUkraine. Let’s hope that the #Kremlin & @mfa_Russia will live by the promise of hashtag.” From ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

ONE LIVED AND ONE DIED Young men and cars offer the joy of coming of age with the risks of tragedy. There is the monstrous injustice of the death, banal statistical references, and life goes on. And ...
Happy Warrior

Bigots by Birth

If you’re like me — a hominid American with external gonads and a melanin ratio that gives your epidermis a pinkish hue — then I’ve got some bad news for ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Courses to Success A professor in college once told me that the first step in choosing your career is deciding whether you prefer to spend your life working with people, things, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The latest scandal lesson: When you’re talking to a mistress a quarter your age, be sure to be decorous. ‐ Speaker John Boehner said that the reason his House Republican ...

Most Popular

National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More
Elections

The Democrats Made Two Joe Biden Miscalculations

I think it's safe to say that there are many, many progressive Democrats who are more than a little surprised -- and a lot chagrined -- at Joe Biden's polling dominance. Look at FiveThirtyEight's polling roundup. Aside from a few high and low outliers, he leads the race by a solid 20 points (at least). Even ... Read More