A Vertical Paradox

“I’m worth as much as you,”
while true,
Yearns upward much as Eve’s son Cain;
and vain
forever proves such self-promotion.

“You’re worth as much as I,”
no lie,
accepts our common source and fate
to state
as knowledge what must be emotion

in one bound for eternity,
yet free
to take the path of earth each day —
a way
that still avoids the world’s commotion,

and ever seeks with downward eyes
the prize
above all others — as once looked down
without frown
one tied to a tree in mute devotion.

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