Sunday, January 19, 2020

which little voice within?

what do we hear?

what little voice within
do we hear?
do we follow?

in an adult sureness of the cast within them,
we ask middle schoolers
about their conscience,
the impulse inside to do right,
the one that counsels us
to choose the better path,
to get off the wrong one,
we envisage a simple design
with two paths before us:
the self-centered one, the baser,
the nobler one, the purer,
then kid after kid denies our naiveté,
because for them the little voice within
shouts to doubt self, to fear the moment,

that voice undermines every brick
placed to reach higher, surer,
replaces every “I can” with “I can’t”,
distorts every self-image into caricature,
every rightness into wrongness,
every fullness into emptiness,

to distance ourselves from such a loud voice
we need quiet and stillness, and support,
so that we can hear and follow another little voice within,
one who gets us to raise our hand, 
to venture something new,
to see the other and reach out a hand,
to be unselfconscious like a flower,
and to just be beautiful.

by Henry H. Walker
January 17, ‘20

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