Independence

 

Life has its ways of grabbing and twisting us

Into pretzels which we never intended.

Often, our happy plans are bent

Not only by the indifferent forces of fate

But also by a hundred people, who, early and late,

Know our business better than we do.

 

People who know us slightly divine exactly

What we should be doing, feeling, and seeking

On any given day of the week.

Like an old shoe that fits well their stinky feet,

Their limited interpretations of life

Feel good on them, so obviously, they'll feel good on us too.

 

Yet we yearn to sail slowly across the fields of gold,

But smiling fellows construct walls twelve feet high

And write on the front, "Thou shall not fly today."

On our journey, we want to go left,

But traffic forces us right.

Our leisure time, left unguarded, is sucked like a vacuum

By otherís agendas more highly regarded than our own.

Can we break or climb the walls

Of social expectations?

 

Not easily.

 

Few do it, lacking the physical resources and emotional brain

To claim their own Declaration of Independence.

 

But beware!

 

If we achieve independence yet handle it poorly

Becoming selfish with property and time,

We experience the brine which sours the soul.

 

Living only for self, becoming egocentric and lonely,

We avoid the climb to the highest level of all,

Where men forget self, serve others,

And like a devoted father, learn patience, tolerance, and love.

 

© Allen Hackworth 2000