Sunday, February 5, 2017

how we choose

the cusp, and the turtle

the world divides into two groups of people:
those who swerve to miss a turtle crossing the road,
and those who swerve to hit that turtle,
as written by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath,
often the world presents us with binary choices,
and how we choose says much about each of us,

we drive down an interstate,
see a sign that says:
“Merge left.  Right lane closed ahead.”
you can watch the wheels turn in the drivers’ heads,
or not turn,
most within a mile or two merge left,
and snake slower and slower
toward the section with but one lane,
meanwhile some in the right lane race ahead
and cut sharply in line when they have to,
minutes ahead of where 
their dutiful place in line would have put them,
further slowing down those of us 
following the prompt of the signs,

two roads often diverge,
one at times more selfish than the other,
and I wonder if anything like St. Peter 
is really watching and judging,
I know the better self within us 
whispers what it thinks is right,
at the cusp we either move forward, 
or we don’t,
dissolution at war with creation,
who we see in the mirror, first one,
then a larger one which pushes at the shackles
that deny the many our truest self can contain,
can we see ourselves as God might see us?
the beauty that wants to be,
as the Light might work with us in our lives
to build a better self, a better world?

we should know it’s more blessed 
to give than receive,
yet we have to choose,
that of God within us must weep
when we choose the selfish 
and deny an equality to the other
who is as much us
as the selfish whom our driver can confuse
as our most real self,

the turtle is us,
and it’s time to swerve to preserve
who we are at our deepest.

by Henry H. Walker

February 1, ‘16

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