on the Christ within
and I go free!
—Florence Scovel Shinn, 1925
for their future is shaped by our choices today.
for they are the shapers of a brighter world.
for theirs is a sorrow lessened only by mercy and human kindness.
for theirs are the words becoming flesh.
So free am I, so gloriously free Free from three petty things—
Who would have strength to stand, truth to power,
a tightrope walk against the wind, with no net below
except for the hand of God? Who would walk the road
less traveled, the one of
rocky crags and razor wire?
That curves into a perilous wood, and
still look up with hope? Who would sing the song
of dissonance when it is easier—far easier!—
to slip into the stream and be carried by its current?
Who would dare to demand justice,
show mercy, offer comfort, shout defiantly—
who would love in the face of hate?
Puah stood, and Shifra by her side, choosing life
and the cry of babes over one man’s harsh decree.
And Miriam, the one of timbrel and drum,
she danced across a river and sang a song
of freedom’s call. Who will stand now, if not for me?
Who will rise now and march now and sing a song
of freedom’s call now? Who, if not for me?
Once more, and yet again, if not now, when?
—Stacey Zisook Robinson