Across the track, a rail yard worker
big innocent bear of a guy, beer
belly, embraces his girl. She’s
a conductor, comes up to that belly,
reaches arms not quite around
his back. They separate and embrace
three times while the train prepares
Across the aisle,
a mother and son. Lights out, change engines,
they play Mercy. Squeeze fingers until one
cries mercy. The son still too small
to seriously challenge his young, athletic
mother. Ask and answer questions, laugh
and cry mercy, she draws and he colors
Unless a society
expects its fate to be better than its past,
it will strive to make its present
immutable as possible.
Optimism is a way of exploring failure.
It says there is no law of nature
or supernatural decree preventing progress.
Nearly all failures, and all successes, are in
—Deutsch, David, The Beginning of Infinity, Viking Press, 2011.