New York

Did you notice, LordDid you hear, did you seeWhat happened yesterdayThe towers tumblingThe noise rumblingAround the worldYou so lovedA prides’s humblingYour friend Abraham’s childrenIsaac and IshmaelStill at itThat SarahHas a lotTo answer forTurning HagarAnd Ishmael outTo their perpetualWanderingPonderingSquanderingWhy Have I Been Given Today

Why have you given me todayThis pearly morning sky, this rising sunMy heart still throbbing, too deep to loseThose words of love from mobile phonesWhy have you given me todayWhy have you given me todayLife must go on, chores must be doneBetween the sudden poignancies of mindStretched beyond bearing to believeThe messages that ears and eyes receiveWhy have you given me todayWhy have you given me todayTo fear the future, dread the fateHidden in dust clouds curling with hateThe flags unfurling in the pearling skyThe searching ceasing as the days go byWhy have you given me today

–Arthur Harcourt

Arthur Harcourt lives in England. A retired schoolmaster in his mid-nineties, the tragedy of Pearl Harbor happened on his birthday. Though he has never journeyed to America, he is a lifelong passionate reader who travels the world through books and began writing in the late 1930s.

–Naomi Shihab Nye

Do you think free access to journalism like this is important?
The Texas Observer depends on support from its members to keep telling stories like the one you are reading now. This fall we're looking for 200 more sustaining members—people like you who can give us as little as $0.99 per month. Your membership means we can continue shedding light on issues that might otherwise go unreported. Can we count on you?

Andrew Wheat is the research director for Texans for Public Justice.

You May Also Like: