Dogma tells me to hurry up when I slow down

to look at the new display in a store window,

grimaces when I hear an unfamiliar band and turn the radio up,

hides the paper advertising a short story contest,

crumples my sketches of spaceships.

Change is suspect Dogma says,

eat your plain oatmeal,

learn your lessons as they are spelled out in the musty books.

Don’t question, memorize.

Leave your hair alone.

No you can’t because you aren’t a real





Change is uneasy Dogma says.

It is a mattress that doesn’t have your mold already,

it is a room full of people you don’t know,

it is tests you haven’t studied for.

Change is scary Dogma whispers.

Like an elevator that could let you off anywhere…

better to trudge the stairs.

But what is a stairway except a place that exists

only to take you to a different level?

As slow or as fast as you want,

as you are able,

and your voice carries louder in that space between spaces

as if to remind you it’s there.

Let it sing,

let it recite poems,

let it tell you what you are instead of what you are not.

Dogma says stop…

Heart says


The stairways rise and fall

twist and turn

abounding with a choice collection of doors

and true,

there may be tigers behind some of them,

because sometimes change has claws.

But sometimes,

sometimes change has wings.

Sometimes the smallest flicker of light is a star.

Dogma says the unknown may fail,

that sparks should be extinguished so they don’t burn

and that change may end in heart ache.

Heart says everything aches while it’s growing,

regret hurts even more.

And I tell Dogma to come with me,

we can take the stairs together.