Going the Other Direction


We all make choices every day
about what direction to go.
We can get up or stay in bed.
Wash ourselves or keep the funk on.
Eat breakfast or run out the door.
Those are the obvious choices.
Which way you’re traveling can make
all the difference in the world
to the company that you keep
the work that you are able to do
the balance of your bank account
the meaning of your entire life.
We appear to have many options.
Really, for every choice we make
there is a built in set of rules
that will not change without effort.
Even the supreme sacrifice
of your life may not be enough.
Do you like the people you know?
Do you know the people you like?
Are you doing what you’ve been told?
Have you been told what you’re doing?
You’re doing something to someone
or to something just by breathing.
Just because you are really alive
just because you are who you are
you are free to think whatever
you want whenever you want to
right up until the last moment
when you’ll know which way you traveled.
Until then the choices you make
are the risks that you have to take
are you going to do what’s easy
or do what you know that you should?
Will you speak the truth that you know
or let the next man speak for you?
You can always do what you think
everyone else has been doing
but that never made something right.
You can imitate what seems safe
but things are never what they seem.
You can give in or you can fight.
If you know what’s worth fighting for
then right now is the time to fight
the tide and get to the other
side, beyond the reach of the blind
grasping, greedy and grotesque king
setting his traps along the road
most traveled and waiting to count
the coins extracted from car seats
and washing machines and old coats
by the people standing in line
waiting to pay for the pleasure
waiting to be given directions.

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