Freedom is not following a river.
Freedom is following a river
though, if you want to.
It is deciding now by what happens now.
It is knowing that luck makes a difference.
No leader is free; no follower is free–
the rest of us can often be free.
Most of the world are living by
creeds too odd, chancy, and habit-forming
to be worth arguing about by reason.
If you are oppressed, wake up about
four in the morning; most places
you can usually be free some of the time
if you wake up before other people.
from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems
Copyright 1998 by Graywolf Press
Originally posted May 26, 2016; Brian Dean Powers included this piece during “Words With Brian” (his week of “hosting” Words for the Year). See his other selections here.