The Only Ones Who Ever Win

Eileen B Karpeles

Out of our separate lives we come,

to walk this path together for an hour or a day,
for a week or a month or a series of months and years.
For this space of time we travel together,

making much or little or nothing at all of the fact
that another walks beside us.
We can keep our eyes cast down
protecting ourselves from the pain we risk
whenever we allow another human being to touch us,
living safe little lives inside our sterile wrappings.
Or we can reach out,
risking a little or a lot or every coin we have,
because we believe that loving and being loved
is the only game in town.
The choice is ours.
Those who risk much lose much.
But they are also the only ones who ever win.