“Call and Answer” by Robert Bly

I say to myself: “Go on, cry. What’s the sense

Of being an adult and having no voice? Cry out!

See who will answer! This is Call and Answer!”

We will have to call especially loud to reach

Our angels, who are hard of hearing; they are hiding

In the jugs of silence filled during our wars.

Have we agreed to so many wars that we can’t

Escape from silence? If we don’t lift our voices, we allow

Others (who are ourselves) to rob the house.

How come we’ve listened to the great criers—Neruda,

Akhmatova, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass—and now

We’re silent as sparrows in the little bushes?

Some masters say our life lasts only seven days.

Where are we in the week? Is it Thursday yet?

Hurry, cry now! Soon Sunday night will come.