©2019 by Stephen Schwei

              Life and Death

Even a cockroach gets to live.

We all make decisions about life and death.

As a child, I would flood the largest anthill in our yard,

totally flood it.

It would shrink for a day or two,

but then come back stronger,

a bigger mound,

flying in my face.

 

If the cockroach had crossed my path,

I would have stomped on it,

but it took a circuitous route.

It avoided death.

It was big.

But I don’t kill things bigger than that,

like frogs or toads,

croaking and hopping across my path,

so why should I kill the roach?

Now I let ants live, for the most part.

Sometimes I choose to flick a mosquito,

instead of smashing it against my arm,

even if it has filled its sac with my blood.

 

I don’t know if it’s consideration for karma,

or the cycle of life,

or my inevitable adjustment in older age.

Life is life.

Even cockroaches deserve to carry on.

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