28 – 175 Miles Removed

They chose not to stay
and so, by the luck of the draw
or the sheer will of two 22-year olds,
I am 175 miles removed
from what I might have been,
which, despite the short distance,
is miles away from What I Am.

We – my alternate possibility and I –
live on opposite sides of
this monumental divide of
culture and politics and
bedrock beliefs,
our Who We Are
similar I supposed to the
genetic variation in species
that live at different altitudes.

By comparison I wonder,
does Loxodonta africana
African Bush Elephant
ever glance across the savanna to
Loxodonta cyclotis
African Forest Elephant
and consider it
black to its white,
red to its blue,
big end to its small.

Or is it a purely human trait
to organize and classify
ourselves beyond recognition,
so that 175 miles
seems light years away?

IMAGE: From the Monastery of St. Nicholas, one of the clifftop monasteries in Meteora, Greece. It depicts the scene from Genesis 2:19-20, when Adam names the animals which God had created. Click here for details. With a nod to Jonathan Swift’s Lilliputian divide. Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #28. If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY IT TODAY!

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