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I chose to look the other way

I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.
It wasn't that I didn't care,
I had the time, and I was there.

But I didn't want to seem a fool,
Or argue over a safety rule
I knew he'd done the job before,
If I called it wrong, he might get sore.
The chances didn't seem that bad,
I've done the same, he knew I had.

So I shook my head and walked on by,
He knew the risks as well as I.
He took the chance, I closed an eye,
And with the act, I let him die.

I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.
Now every time I see his wife,
I'll know I should have saved his life.

That guilt is something I must bear,
But it isn't something you need to share.
If you see a risk that others take,
That puts their health or life at stake.
The question asked, or thing you say,
Could help them live another day.

If you see a risk and walk away,
Then hope you never have to say,
I could have saved a life that day,
But I chose to look the other way.

Don Merrell