by Sarah James
‘Two roads diverged in a yellow wood’
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
‘Our wills and fates do so contrary run’
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Yes, two hands on the steering wheel
allow for a manual precision,
or so the guides inform us.
Two sides allow a balanced debate,
or a complicated story.
Two attempts, a hope
of passing our failures.
Two failures, another proof
of past wrongs.
Two possibilities allow a choice, of dilemma.
In two minds allows that we are indeed human.
Two kidneys – a spare organ for selfless donation,
or twice the capacity for filtering mundane exchanges.
Two bricklayers will not mend fences.
Boundaries built by bullies are not there to sit on.
Two hands cupped:
an arc for drinking.
Two animals, arked,
did not allow for
the Woolly Mammoth,
Dodo, Steller’s Sea Cow,
Falkland Islands Wolf,
Caribbean Monk Seal,
Javan Tiger or Chinese River Dolphin…
say hydrogen and oxygen,
a molecular reaction.
that makes water
…this vessel overflowing, maybe.
In two minds allows that we are human in deed.
Two hands joined, a more-than-flesh linking.
Two things which life does not allow:
words that can be throated back,
and bullets which re-enter a gun.
I have seen the artist’s photo
of a red rose bud, shattered
by one small pellet.
When Malala Yousafzai rose
from the metal shell-shock
of her school bus, she spat
their fears in her blood,
then softly spoke louder.
When doubts flower,
then harden to a bullet,
will I know how to bite it?