The Politics of Walking


I’m not fond of the word, revolution.
Bigger men than I have carried guns throughout history
and made a loud clamor. But nothing lasts forever, not even the fire
sustained by their children. More to the point, how useless I would be in war;
this mind is enough to fight alone. And besides, I would tire carrying any large rifle.
Let me have my walk, then. For I think doing so makes me a better human,
even if I am still only human, prone to hurt or being hurt,
yet all together able to move forward or backward
as slowly as needed.

If walking is not a form of resistance,
if witnessing the first blooms of spring— the forsythia, the crocus, the daffodils—emerge
gradually from the warm and ready earth is not a means to restore the dignity of man, than I don’t know how to break away or fight. I do know how to hold something,
like a child, steady and loving, and offer it my patience
and wait in this hasty world. I know how to look up
at the right time to wave, hello.
And I know that walking makes my time feel a little longer on this planet,
a little more time to give or forgive—and what a revolutionary act that is
among people who, when I have a little more time with to notice,
have such gentle and fragile features.

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