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Even Mother Teresa

To a soldier

Even Mother Teresa
has chipped a nail every so often;
and Gandhi
with a splinter lodged in his
thumb, still found time to practice non-violence.

Virginia Woolf,
in the early stirring morning,
between four walls -
gave advice on how to live if you
wish to really live
or how not to if you don’t.
Quotes by Fitzgerald about ladies and
femininity, times and truth
and Austen’s thoughts on men.

I stand somewhere in between it all today.
thinking about the iconic ages and
the day-to-day crossroads.

My mind jumps to an American soldier,
he could be my brother.
His bag packed,
hiking twenty miles of Arabian desert only to get home.
I wonder what his thoughts are,
“I can’t even remember what a hot shower feels like?”

Still, Marilyn blew kisses,
Churchill drank coffee,
Kafka wrote vignettes,
and I’m sure some nights, even Buddha thought
laying his head down for sleep,
“I could have really stepped up my game today!”

We circle round,
a resilient flock and circumnavigate one another
living out the same lessons time over time.
Passing down wisdom, tradition
and recycling the photo albums from
one generation to the next.

Like a life line reaching out.
the sticato of a Miles Davis’ sax retreats
till’ it’s quiet beneath the soldier’s boot sole.
Halfway past the desert he is now back
in his home in a N.J. suburb -
back, in the bedroom he grew up in
where the telescope is still set up near the window
and the microscope is
perfectly placed on a desk he has long outgrown.

Whose to say that a revolution can’t begin
with a hangnail, a splinter, a kiss?

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