Please help me know it happened, that life I thought we had—
Our friends holding out their hands to us—
Our enemies mistaken, infected by unaccountable
Our country benevolent, a model for all governments,
Those mad rulers at times elsewhere, inhuman, and yet mob-
worshipped, leaders of monstrous doctrine, unspeakable
beyond belief, yet strangely attractive to the uninstructed.
And please let me believe these incredible legends that have
dignified our lives—
The wife or husband helplessly loving us, the children full of
awe and affection, the dog insanely faithful—
Our growing up hard—hard times, being industrious and
The places we lived arched full of serene golden light—
Now, menaced by judgments, overheard revisions, let me
retain what ignorance it takes to preserve what we need—
a past that redeems any future.