Who I Work To Be

By Henry Walker

a child of teachers,
they who know that helping others
and become
is a high calling
that one must answer
if one hears it in the heart,

a child of love,
who every day thanks his stars
that she who completes his best self
is the central part of his life
and helps him be,
and become better,

a parent,
who gives his all
to tend the flame(flām) of his sons
until they flare(fle(ə)r) so true
they’re ready to blaze(blāz) free without him,

a grandparent,
who knows the truth
that a child centers the universe(ˈyo͞onəˌvərs)
and that his grandchild centers his world,

a poet(ˈpōit,ˈpōət),
who pairs with the universe
to chronicle(ˈkränək(ə)l) what head and heart
can approximate(əˈpräksəmət) of the grand revelations
inherent(inˈhirənt, inˈherənt) in every moment,

a photographer,
who pairs with the universe
in attempts to record(ˈrekərd) approximations(əˌpräksəˈmāSHən)
of the wonder that opens every moment
if we but have the eye to see it,

a champion(ˈCHampēən) of community,
of what can be built
when individuals can release themselves
into connections with others,
with themselves,
and with being fully present in a world
that is worth total commitment of self,

each of us is here
because countless generations before
gave their best and believed
in the future, the past, the present,

how much better to know, when the last breath comes,
that one has fought(fôt) dissolution(ˌdisəˈlo͞oSHən) well
and helped God build order, meaning, rightness, memory
in a universe that can forget too easily.