March 26, 2021
To accomplish his object Ahab must use tools; and of all tools used in the shadow of the moon, men are most apt to get out of order. ~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (Chapter 46)
Here is an important truth: I am a tool or potential tool
of someone—a ship captain, politician, CEO,
the neighborhood bully, my boss. I can be played
like a violin or a kettle drum. I can be
the screwdriver turning someone else’s screw,
the hammer pounding someone’s nail.
It takes courage to refuse the task, resign
the commission, miss the promotion
because of protest. Too easy to be a sailor
buying into the vengeance of Ahab.
Too easy even to be the first mate, knowing
right from wrong and the risk to the whole crew,
resisting only cautiously now and then,
afraid to stand unmoving and take the consequences.
Sometimes there are only two options: to go along with evil
or get out of order.
Wilda Morris, Workshop Chair of Poets & Patrons of Chicago and a past President of the Illinois State Poetry Society, is an ordained minister and former seminary faculty member. You can find links to many of her poems on her blog at wildamorris.blogspot.com which features a monthly contest for other poets. From Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick (Kelsay Books, 2019). Used by permission.