I asked an ancient pilgrim by the river
“Why do you wait here every day
not knowing when the ferry’s due?”
He said
“How am I different from you?”

I asked the hatchling albatross
“How do you dare to launch yourself across
the vast and stormy ocean
not knowing what awaits you on the other side?”
She said
“How am I different from you?”

I woke a sleeping seed to ask
“Will you sprout, not knowing
if there will be enough rain for your roots
and sun for your leaves?”
It said
“How am I different from you?”

I had a map but it vanished
leaving an enigmatic smile in my hands.
There were no signposts
and the albatross never came back
though evening was falling.
The old man had gone on ahead.
The seed in my pocket whispered “Put me back
and have courage.”

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