Legitimate Pursuit

In pursuit
of what?
The cars ahead must know-
We're on the same road,
heading somewhere.

If you go slow enough,
they disappear
around the bend,
the road ahead looks to be your own,
even though your own
may seem too vague a destination.

Surely we're meant
to follow a wider road
than private joy,
some action taking meaning
from beyond
what can be seen
on your own horizon:
So go solve some problem!
discover a vaccine,
cure cancer,
teach the ignorant.
That common good:
It seems to fuel your vehicle,
map your route,
keep you steady.

But what about
these fleeting moments
of singular delight?
The power of such joy
cannot be denied,
or the fire quenched,
when burning hot,
it sets the night aglow.

So I look up
through my sun roof
to catch sight
of trees soaring skyward,
needles gleaming gold.
What is up,
I decide,
is mine,
as much as what is ahead
is a path to be shared.

I catch up
to those cars ahead,
but leave my sun roof
to the sky.

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 © 2004, Lenore Horowitz