My Property Quandary

Deed to my stuff - property quandary
I have an irksome quandary,
one I hope you too will see:
we say that that belongs to you
and this belongs to me—
to make it easier I’m sure
to assign responsibility—
for cars and clothes and houses too,
and bank accounts and jobs.
It’s merely practicality.

But what about some other things,
like ocean waves and air?
the center of the earth,
the stratosphere and moonlit nights?
or a super nova birth?

Please help me figure this all out:
which of these belong to me?
and which of these do not?

Oh…and this…my very thoughts
(so clearly mine)
where will they be when I’m dead?
It seems that they’ll be gone for good
—unless they’re kept in someone else’s head.

And here’s a harder question still
—it might seem pretty odd—
but things like self respect, civility,
or peace, or love or even “God”
—whose are they I ask…
I really need an answer here
because for me (and maybe you)
these words hold a lot of what we want in life,
and I wonder whose they’re not?

When you think of snow capped mountaintops
or love or peace or just a city hall,
unless some things are owned by all of us
aren’t they owned by none at all?

If you liked this poem, I think you will like these:
One Rod, Many Gods,” a poem
A Hymn to the Old Things,” a poem
The Woods Behind My House,” a short article

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