The Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

When Late for work, the time for speed is not
    When shaving, backing cars, or thinking what to take.
           The hare that flushes to the lion’s roar
                   Lets go of life in futile seizing of the day –
                          The mouse that twitches feeds the serpent’s fangs.

Her desperate addict broke the regulation –
     Not quietly as if to get away
            But flaunting it as if to make it say…

The flags went up – what meaning this?
      She stopped and watched
            And asked her Pilgrim’s way
                     Through tricky turf.

“A test it is,” her guide advised,
      “Like growing teens, and spouses do
              Or workers with their boss.
                      Life-stakes demand to know if it’s for you or me
                             You speak and act and share and guide and show.”

Confused she pressed – he said,
      “Three rules he saw you set
              To gain the firmer ground.
                      The breach-response a test
                            Of willingness to lose
                                    Your gain to seek his health.”

“My gain?”
        “Why, notches in your gun
              Career, success, pay, status with your peers,
                      He’s seen them all – the pet collectors
                             Insecure, high-stepping strutters,
                                    Slick predators of every stripe and creed.”

“So how respond?”
         “Enforce his health, with death to private gain –
                 Don’t say ‘do anything but leave’ –
                       For that he’ll do
                              And on your face
                                     Clean off contemptuous boots.

Tough love –
          If tough to life-land leads
                But tougher still
                        The time upon our knees.”