Posts Tagged ‘human nature’

for J Unterberg

In the picture on the news,

the little black girl holds a sign

that says, I’m your next president.

And in the grocery store,

the clerk smiles at me from behind her mask

and compliments my dress.

Consumed as I’ve been

with a sorrow so great

it swallowed our country whole,

I had thought it would take an energy

equally great and opposite

to pull me away from the bleak edge.

But then a stranger walked up to my car

where I was parked on the side of the road

to make sure I was okay. And just like that

I felt myself backing away from the edge,

just a bit, just a bit.

It can be so small, what reminds us

who we are—a people who want

to thrive, to live in peace,

a people who are kind to each other

not because we have earned it, but

because kindness is in our nature.

I want to vote for that little girl,

want to help create the just world she rises in.

I want to help someone else

back away from the edge,

just a bit, just a bit, another bit.

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Paradox for Supper





slicing ginger,

I think about

not thinking

about the news,

how I would then

sit down

at dinner

and look

around the table

at my family

and enjoy

this peanut sauce

on brown rice,


and for a while

I am two women

in one skin—

one who stews

about the supreme court,

one who thrills

in the hot pepper oil,

the way it blazes

on the tongue.



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No way to pretend we’re not broken, no way not to see how dazzling we are.

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One Fool

standing beneath
the wide blue sky already missing
the wide blue sky

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The wind is cruel
and the heat is cruel
and the drought is pitiless.

It goes on this way.
These are no reasons
to hurt each other.

But we do.
Even the weeds
are blanched and brittle,

the stems dry as pencils,
and it is not yet
the last day of spring.

The fathers go on with their
The winter was cruel

and the cold was cruel
and the dark was merciless,
it bound us.

Always something
to blame. We could say
the scent of even

a few drops of rain
is generous. We could say
here is my hand.

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before the rose
has even bloomed, already
lamenting its loss

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