Hold and Release
Suppose you had not turned your head
when the man with a fiery beard tripped over the curbstone,
whose bed would now be yours,
what complication of molecules, your children.
Red light changes to green,
the moon shuffles behind a squall cloud,
what kind of story waits at the crosswalk to take your hand
and guide you with the flow or against it.
A woman stands by a fountain throwing her lunch to pigeons.
If she brushes off her hands, exits through the south gate
as you swing though the eastern one with your full bag of lunch and
was a vital connection missed or escaped?
My friend, visiting the caves in India
was set upon by a monkey and bitten to the bones of her cheek.
Was it only because a man paused to let her enter first,
and which way would her path have led
without the jagged scar that never smoothed
like an over-wintered apple in the root cellar.
A friend walked the lake path at Treetops,
trailed by ten feet a Dutch woman with bushy hair,
when a water buffalo charged from his soak and killed
before she could open her mouth to scream.
Still holding his second cup of coffee
the man too horrified to move toward or away –
the buffalo turned, and returned, to the water swaying with reeds.
Poem by CB Follett from "Hold and Releaset."