. The Problem of Good a Petrarchan sonnet If there’s (the armchair philosopher maintains) A God (most likely writing in his blog), Then why’s the world in such a dismal fog Of evil will and endless human pain? Each day the whole thing just gets more insane And sad. No god made such a senseless slog. Our fervent prayer is but a monologue Still rattling in our prehistoric brain. The bigger question though to pose by far Is how without God good exists at all; What source by which small kindnesses accrete To train us in a loving repertoire? Why tend to someone with no wherewithal Or even help some poor old thing across the street? . . Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Agape Review, America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.