4. Bargaining

What is a life worth?

In wartime we talk of brave souls
who pay the ultimate price for
freedom, democracy, a way of life.

So maybe if somehow all these deaths
lead to understanding, to change,
somehow we think maybe it was worth it.

Is it Worth it? Worth it?
How can it be worth it? worth all this death?
Can good ever be bought with such bloody coin?

Orlando, Santa Barbara, Sandy Hook, Columbine.
Where is this payoff, tradeoff, for all this death.
When we do not learn, we do not evolve.

Is a life worth a change of heart?
Is a life worth an opening of eyes?
Is a life worth seeing who we are?

Cleo Creech

Cleo grew up on family tobacco farms going to a strict Southern Baptist church his family had founded in North Carolina. He’d go on to study writing, ceramics and printmaking. His past poetry exploits include being an editor for the GA Poetry Society, a founding editor for the Java Monkey Speaks series, as well as a board member for the Atlanta Queer Lit Fest. He’s been in a number of journals and anthologies, and written several chapbooks. His anti-bullying piece, “The Peace of Gentle Waves,” was turned into a choral work by the Great South Jersey choir. He currently works as an Art Director for a large home improvement company in Atlanta.


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