Until he extends his circle of compassion to include
all living things, man will not himself find peace.
– Albert Schweitzer
We shoulder ourselves up amid the purple, red,
blue and golden wildflowers amid cascades of grass
seed arched, hanging heavily, picking our way
around moments, trying to leave no track—
speckled Killdeer eggs in gravel driveways,
we choose who to include within our circles
when they amuse us, when we grow up. And so
it goes ‘til we get old, if we’re lucky, making-up
for youth. But there are certain irritations that enflame
outrage and engulf us, the wars beyond our barb wire
we cannot win with battles, that will not let go.
Like the Yokuts leaving game on the doorsteps
of early settlers, what have we to offer our demons?
For better or worse, the end is the same—but perhaps
more a matter of how we choose to get there.