Dogma tells me to hurry up when I slow down
to look at the new display in a store window,
grimaces when I hear an unfamiliar band and turn the radio up,
hides the paper advertising a short story contest,
crumples my sketches of spaceships.
Change is suspect Dogma says,
eat your plain oatmeal,
learn your lessons as they are spelled out in the musty books.
Don’t question, memorize.
Leave your hair alone.
No you can’t because you aren’t a real
Change is uneasy Dogma says.
It is a mattress that doesn’t have your mold already,
it is a room full of people you don’t know,
it is tests you haven’t studied for.
Change is scary Dogma whispers.
Like an elevator that could let you off anywhere…
better to trudge the stairs.
But what is a stairway except a place that exists
only to take you to a different level?
As slow or as fast as you want,
as you are able,
and your voice carries louder in that space between spaces
as if to remind you it’s there.
Let it sing,
let it recite poems,
let it tell you what you are instead of what you are not.
Dogma says stop…
The stairways rise and fall
twist and turn
abounding with a choice collection of doors
there may be tigers behind some of them,
because sometimes change has claws.
sometimes change has wings.
Sometimes the smallest flicker of light is a star.
Dogma says the unknown may fail,
that sparks should be extinguished so they don’t burn
and that change may end in heart ache.
Heart says everything aches while it’s growing,
regret hurts even more.
And I tell Dogma to come with me,
we can take the stairs together.