It took a long time to become human
Days of Biblical proportion
A coalescing of cells up from the water’s edge
A long time for bone to reform
Though the fangs and claws can still show
A long time for consciousness to turn on itself
Before some learned transcendence.
It takes a long time to become human
Lifetimes of error,
Of missing the mark,
Burdened with endless hunger,
Offering loving kindness
While the fangs and claws still show
Trapped in mirrors
In an isolated cell
Keeping company only with fear
Then, poised at death’s gate,
Cycling back to the primordial self
Lifetimes as an insect, a rodent, a jackal,
Rising again slowly through cycles
From a paw that rips
To a hand that writes sonnets
Rising to a love beyond greed and dominion
Where baseless hatred is condemned.
Such a long, long time to become human
Through thousands of falls
And millions of rebirths.
To become fully human
It is peace that awaits--
Don’t fall back!