A POEM FOR THE ROTARIANS
Each day you leave—
wherever you’ve stepped—
shapes strung along the ground.
Right, left, right, your footprints
are the quick kisses feet steal, a trace
of where your body’s been
and been weighty enough to make
an impression— your journey’s
Go where you need to.
Step with care. From that earth
left behind you as you walk,
your faint trail shines.
This is the poem I dedicated to the Rotarian group on November 19th. It seems a most apt poem for a group whose motto is “service above self.” Service to others above the self. What an admirable goal.
We hear too little these days about commonweal, about the common good. We hear too little about service to others, about helping others. Yet Rotarians are people who pledge themselves to service above self. A group that seeks peace through service.
Rotarians are very aware of their potential impact on the lives of others, the beneficent impact that service can make. Rotarians ask themselves this: As we make our way in the world, what do we leave in our wake? What impression do we leave behind us?
Your journey’s configuration. Every step each of us takes makes a difference. I’m grateful to Rotarians for making such an admirable difference in our world.
Oregon Poet Laureate