Because there are uncounted secret ways
to live a life, perhaps therein to find
a shred of comfort through the march of days,
one cannot know the state of another’s mind.
We speak of standing in another’s shoes,
but that is hardly where the problem lies;
only by the willingness to lose
one’s self could one look through another’s eyes.
And even then there is no guarantee
that one might truly see another’s pain,
and even if one manages to see,
will what is lost be outweighed by the gain?
We love to boast we’re always gaining ground,
if not oneself at least the species whole,
but might it be that that which seems profound
is more pedestrian, despite the toll?
The disappearance of the dinosaur,
laid low in geologic blink of eye,
should give us pause for what could lay in store
and lead us toward renouncing every lie.
Those who see the universe as theirs
leave behind the ones who can’t keep pace,
and those who fear that nothing’s really theirs
may be weary of this endless race.
And who’s to say what one may call one’s own?
If not one’s self then surely nothing other;
how one lives is at the last alone
in spite of whom one may cast as a brother.
There are those who struggle to forgive,
themselves more so than those who’ve been unkind,
and if there is a god for whom to live,
one has to wonder what it has in mind.
Perhaps not all the dinosaurs are dead,
though little trace is left by those who still
attempt to lean toward caution as they tread
and think to leave no empty shoes to fill.
© 2016 Charlie Rankin