The Choice

This poem was initially titled “A Few Cans Of Food And Some Bottles Of Water.” I have revised and improved it.

Some cans of food and some jugs of water;
You’ve got a gun and a garden out back;
A way to save your wife, son, and daughter,
In your wilderness one-room lean-to shack.

Dark clouds above have warned you of doom;
Hidden in some place is your ammo stash;
You sit anxiously in your single room,
As you wait for the coming thunder crash.

How did you arrive at this desperate place?
You’re with your family but you’re alone;
You quit your job and the city rat race,
And settled in this place to be unknown.

Many other men have followed your lead,
Although they may still live in the cities;
They desire their families to feed,
And they have formed survival committees.

But above the fear and desperation,
A voice cries out and calls for attention:
“When the world has come to desolation,
What will happen to your life extension?

“You know that all people finally die;
Shouldn’t you prep for death rather than life?
Eternity is what the wise ones spy;
You can’t save yourself, let alone your wife.

“Your mind is what will shortly be revealed
When you leave behind your flesh and the earth;
Have you attacked people or have you healed?
What is your actual value and worth?

“Don’t be distracted by trying to save
The few belongings that you now cherish;
Don’t worry about them or be their slave,
For your possessions will all soon perish.

“But if you learn to love your hated foes,
Your heart will expand and even grow warm;
Love will follow your soul wherever it goes,
And serenity will be your new norm.

“Look at all of those rusting cans of food;
Can you tell me what they represented?
I want to tell you without sounding rude,
But those cans are what your fear invented.

“Release your fear, and share your inner wealth;
Don’t be so selfish and ego-centered;
Giving ensures people’s wholeness and health,
When your love has your neighbor’s heart entered.

“This is the choice that you all have to make:
You can die with feelings of fear and pain,
Or you can allow your heart to awake,
And leave this world with eternal gain.”