One Word? Only One?

What word would it be—
That one word that I cannot let die?
(Just one? Is that all I get?)
Surely I’d have time
To voice more than one,
Maybe two, three, a dozen!
Voice them, pass them along
With my eyes, my hands,
My passion!


But they must be action words,

Love your neighbor!
Walk in peace!
Be kind!
Show compassion!
Make music!

I want to say more!
To gather up a whole bucketful
Of words that cannot die,
Words that lift and heal—
Mother words, father words,
Arms-full-of-children words!
I want to pass them hand over hand
In a bucket brigade
To those who fill my shoes someday.

One word? Only one?
Then love it must be.
As in:

Love one another!
Love the earth!
Love yourself!
Love peace!
Love kindness!

Love is a fat word—
Perhaps it can eat all the other words
That cannot die,
And spill them out
When time and occasion arise.
Love will know what to do.
I must trust love—
Love cannot die.

Glenda Breeden for The Poplar Grove Muse

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