Strange Mercy

"... and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

Location: Mid-Atlantic Sprawl, United States

I'm a former idealist turned 'defensive pessimist' who has concluded, after living on two coasts, two continents, and an island, that most of us spend our lives as prey, economically and psychologically. Awareness is the key to understanding this; but once we understand it, we may transcend it, choosing, when we can, to be neither prey nor predator.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It is warmer than usual here.
Alone in the stacks I pause to breathe,
Smell decades of musty journals
Dry, faint, like the breath of old men
Whose lives have here been gathered,
Trimmed, neatly bound, to be rifled
By the questing minds of strangers.

A woman in a light grey sweater
Leans intently over a page.
Her hair spills forward to frame her face
As she writes
Birthing ideas
Amid these dry relics of scholars innumerable.

Will my memento mori
Be lost on a library shelf,
Dust I am to dust returning
Until even the pages crumble?

© 1983


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