On Possibility

In college, teaching a lesson on coherence
and consistency, my literature professor held up

a copy of Richard Adams’ Watership Down and asked:
Is it better to have an impossible probability

or a probable impossibility? I suppose she meant
if these rabbits who have names and have formed

societies in this book suddenly begin acting
as merely rabbits instead of planning expeditions

into the unknown because something in the wind
tells them to fear for their safety— would it not

violate expectations the author has already given us
from the outset? Similarly, does it seem impossible

to keep placing our hopes in things that feel
like they could never happen in this life,

such as everything estranged and at war coming
together in peace and mutual cooperation— factions,

faiths, political parties, countries, obstinate
relatives? But someone has to make those leaps, do

whatever it takes for as long as it takes even if
the outcome is failure or looks like nothing at all.

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