What’s wrong with the world today? I asked Mum.
“What’s wrong with you!? Can’t you see I’m busy!?”
I shrink and quietly walk away.
Dejected, I find my Dad.
“Dad. What is wrong with the world today?”
“Where’s your mother? Can’t you see I’m busy?”
I sigh and shrink a little smaller.
The best place for me is outside.
Away from the shouting and disappointment,
I walk down the hall to the steps out front.
“Excuse me, Sir?” I asked the neighbor. “What’s wrong with the world today?”
“You git!” he shouted, yanking his dog on the leash. The dog gave a yelp.
His old eye looked right over me.
Sighing, feeling small, I sat on the steps outside.
People walked past. Each shifted their eyes.
Everyone saw me, but no words, “Hello.” No smiles. No nod.
Just strangers living in the building I lived.
The old lady on 3rd walked up the stairs, her bag hitting me as she went.
The young business man on 2, screaming into his phone.
A baby in the stroller screamed.
The parents didn’t budge or even look up.
Each person in their own little world.
“Excuse me,” I called across the street, “What’s wrong with the world today?”
An old man glanced up. Our eyes met, but he hurriedly looked back down.
So engrossed in the world to make a friend, or see that other people are here with them.
“Has our world gotten so small that we’re too crowded?”
“Or is it in spirit that we shrink?”
“Have we shrunk so much from the shouting and the hate,
That we’ve shrunk right down into ourselves?”
Is our world within our minds so small,
That the world outside is too strange?”
What is wrong with the world today?
All of us living inside our heads?
That neighbors and parents and lovers are strangers…
Maybe instead of our Names and city,
We should introduce our Dreams and Loves instead…
If only we knew what those were.
I do wonder what is wrong with the world today…