Every Man is an Island

by Donna Arthur Downs

Every man is an island, 
a single unit 
standing alone.
Though others connect 
through life-giving waters,
each accounts for himself, 
his life, his outreach, his death.

Whether in this lifetime 
claimed or realized,
all will succumb to The One 
who declares
that at His name 
every knee shall bow, 
every tongue confess
He is Lord.

No one else accounts for me. 
No one is to blame 
nor to be praised
for who I am
except me.
I alone
am responsible 
for my reactions, 
my responses, 
and who I become.

Though others influence me,
I alone choose: 
dwell in the past and 
wallow in mistakes …
or move forward 
with tenacity.

Though the soul within me 
longs to be part of a whole,
wholeness will not, cannot 
be found in fellow man,
but, rather, in only
He Who Holds the 
Key to Eternity.

Donna Arthur Downs is an associate professor at Taylor University. She has been full-time teaching various writing, public relations and media courses since 2001 and advised the award-winning student newspaper and yearbook. She has been published in Grit Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, and Military Experience and the Arts. Downs did her undergraduate work at Indiana University, Bloomington, and graduated with an Ed.D from Ball State University in Muncie. She has two sons and three remarkable grandchildren.

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