Crossroads, a poem by Julie Pratt at
Henry Schneider



written by: Julie Pratt


There’s always a choice, isn’t there,
whenever I feel utterly right
and righteous? When a whisper
from the heart urges me to
pause      breathe      listen
until I start pondering why
you think what you think and
and feel as you do, intrigued
by the way you hold your beliefs
as staunchly as I hold my own.

It’s scary, to be sure, to lay down
my bravado, my certainty that
if there is a god, she is on my side.
But what if her temple – her hearth
and her home – is in the middle,
a kind of demilitarized zone
even in the deepest of conflicts?

What if I learned to carry my beliefs
not with the hardness of rock
but the resilience of fabric
woven to stretch and reshape
without breaking? I do not need
to lose my self or my calling
nor ask you to lose yours,
only to face the fire together
long enough to uncover
each other’s pain.

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