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Sunday, January 29, 2017


by Brigitte Goetze

Archive photo: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Winnipeg Free Press-Wayne Glowacki

The alternative ways are in stark opposition, but if she works patiently through her difficulties, trusting herself to life, living each day as fully and as truly as possible, seeking through sincerity of living to solve the problem of their opposition, she may perhaps find a way to a reconciliation. —Ester Harding

Power will have its way,
no matter how damned
its path. Like flood water
it will widen a small crack,
splitting the land into two,
uprooting what stands innocently
in its commandeered course.

You, who live upstream,
pick up whatever tool you have,
wheelbarrow, shovel, hoe,
rush up the Hill, help
draw a ditch across the slope,
diverting the deluge’s downpour
away from seedlings and old shrubs.

And you, who live downstream,
join your neighbors,
fill sandbags or nourish those
working: many a place can be
cordoned off from the swollen,
murky, ice-cold torrent against
which weapons of war are useless.

Energy cannot be destroyed, but
it can be channeled. Even if some will not
be protected from the inevitable
mud flow, yet, it may not devour all.
We are able, willing, and ready
to defend with our hands and hearts
what we have labored so hard to build.

Brigitte Goetze lives in Western Oregon. A retired biologist and a goat farmer, she now divides her time between writing and fiber work.