I have endured much to reach this place in time
Yet I have not been sick, nor mad,
Nor ruined in a wreck.
And yet I feel I have.
There is a thing in me, the walls of cells are thin,
My veins are glass, my heart the merest whim
Of beat and pause and beat,
Deaths in the street are mine. I would not have it so.
I know much more than I would want to know.
The breakfast headlines tell me of a war,
I know they die out there; put down my spoon.
Men land on the moon tonight, I know their joy,
The boy in me goes with them as they tread
Far overhead on dust world beyond reach
They teach my tired blood to love again.
There's rain in downtown Peru tonight,
I wash my face in it. In Indo China, one more massacre,
I run a race in it and lose.
I cannot choose to be or not to be.
from I Have Endured Much to Reach This Place by Ray Bradbury