Friday, January 19, 2018

embrace or fear?

contrast and commonality

we humans are drawn to contrast:
the cold outside that shivers water into solid,
the heat inside that allows leaf and laugh to last,
the new over the old,
something different to wake us up,

we also love the familiar, the routine, commonality:
think of the many generations that lived
because they spotted the threat,
the predator, the enemy, the disruption,
so that we could survive today
into a tomorrow much the same,

our genes know we need the stranger,
our fears prejudice that difference,

iced tea well illustrates our quandary:
make hot tea, then put ice in it,
sweeten it, then sour it with lemon,
my mother always pointed out
how much the sweet needs the sour,
the sour intensity of the summer transparency apple
revealing its delicious heart only with enough added sugar,

modern America tears at itself,
as many of us celebrate change and difference,
and many of us fear what the stranger might bring.

by Henry H. Walker
January 17, ‘18

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