A little parable about activism

I was walking the beagle this week
and we came upon a cat
lying on the sidewalk,
front legs rigid, paws clenched.

Startled by my ambling hound,
always more inclined to be
friend than predator,
the claws uncurled involuntarily,
and a mouse ran free
seeking escape
in the long stone wall.

I’d not seen the mouse till then.
Willie must have smelt it
in the midst of feline ambrosia,
but really didn’t care —
being himself,
more invested in sniffing
the personal ads in dog pee.

A lot of what we do
that will change the world

is being who we are —
on a corner with a sign or candle,
walking for immigrant justice,
calling a legislator,
circulating a petition,
changing how we live, what we buy.

It’s being who we are —
and that startles those in power
into letting go.

Willie relaxes after being a mouse’s ‘wheelman”

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