by J. Randal Matheny

Some say it’s our genetic code
That makes us do what we do;
But choice of thought and of route of road
Are bigger spuds in the stew.

Others say that parents’ rules
Determine how we go,
Or children learn in teachers’ schools,
From there they act and grow.

But, in the end, not DNA
Nor home or school’s our guide;
Why do we go a certain way?
The truth is, we decide.

Yesterday, a young friend wondered on Facebook why she did what she did. I replied with the first quatrain, in common meter and with a bit of lightheartedness. To that, I added the second to cover both nature and nurture, and a final stanza for the clincher.

Without denying the influence that genes or family have on us, the poem recognizes that ultimately our own decisions are the determining factor.

What do you think?