the snake in the garden

the snake(snāk) in the garden

hard choices, the tougher(təf) paths

By Henry H. Walker

I am worried about the snake in the garden,

our students are good people
who want to do right,
yet distance(ˈdistəns) learning makes the paths forward
even harder to find and follow,
there in their rooms
Zoom holds their tenuous(ˈtenyo͞oəs) connection
to teacher,
to fellow students,
to their choices:
whether to focus their attention, or not,
to bring up a point in discussion(dəˈskəSH(ə)n), or not,
to resist(rəˈzist) the smart phone’s messages and games, or not,
to have their video on, or retreat(rəˈtrēt) from being seen,

the snake whispers(ˈ(h)wispər) to them,
and it is hard for them to resist the easier paths
that pull at them to give in to temptation(tem(p)ˈtāSH(ə)n),

life is all about choice,
the better way can be hard,

despite what the snake whispers
their future is so much better
when they choose the harder way forward,
despite how taxing(ˈtaksiNG) it can be,
despite what they have to give up,

they and we are being tested,
and I can not succeed unless they do.