The Way

Joe Reed, Poet

Live on your feet, or

Die on your knees.

Pay any price,

Bear any burden, or

Just let it happen

Because you’re scared.

 

Some cry out

“Anything for peace!”

There are wolves,

And there are sheep.

They throw you to the wolves,

And you come back leading the pack.

This is the Way.

 

Submit to pressure,

Go against what you believe, or

Pay with your life.

“Disperse! Go back to your homes!”

Who wouldn’t be scared?

It’s easy to submit under fear.

One man who fired the shot heard ‘round the world

Lived the Way.

 

Screw it.

Take the shot.

Pull the trigger.

Light the fuse.

Enough is enough.

You can’t grind me down.

This is the Way.

 

Better to die fighting for what you believe in,

Than to live the rest of your life a coward.

Against all odds,

No way to win.

But still-

You don’t give in.

This is the Way.

 

Outnumbered and surrounded

A beautiful death awaits.

“Lay down your weapons, and you will live!”

Many shout.

“Come and take them!”

Few yell back.

This is the Way.

 

Fear is powerful.

Fear of death?

Fear of what happens next?

Fear of the unknown?

Fear of yourself.

Yes, fear is powerful.

 

That is why you don’t give in,

That is why you never turn back,

That is why you never surrender,

That is why you never submit.

Even when staring death in the face,

You don’t give in.

Live the Way.

 

Fight for what you believe in, or die

An easy choice made difficult by fear.

Fear of what happens after death?

Possibly.

Don’t give fear the satisfaction.

Don’t give in.

Live the Way.

 

A virtue that defines your life in a single second.

Ranging as far back as Leonidas and the 300,

To the patriots at Lexington and Concord.

Neither gave fear the satisfaction.

It in fact is- better to die on your feet,

Than to live on your knees.

 

This is the Way.

 

Maybe it’s a mindset that certain people have.

People willing to pay the ultimate price for what is right.

An inspiration for humanity,

To stand up against what is wrong,

Even if it means proving it with their life.

This is the Way.

 

One day, any single person could end up in the place of

George Washington,

Leonidas,

Abraham Lincoln.

All facing an insurmountable task of

Doing what’s right against impossible odds.

Those who take up that challenge

Live the Way.

 

That is how you know what you’re made of.

If you have what it takes to do the right thing

Even if it means paying the ultimate price.

History has depended on it for centuries,

And if your time comes to make that decision,

Take a moment, to stop and smell the roses,

Get ready, and brace yourself.

Don’t be sad, but rather,

See it as you finally coming home

After a long, happy journey.

 

This is the Way.