Postscript: I’m calling what you see above a poem. One thing about having my own blog is that I can share something that I consider a poem, but which a lot of other people might not. However, it’s got some of the features of a poem, including line breaks, repetition (ANAPHORA) , rhyme and off-rhymes and so forth. It’s an “open” poem, because I’m asking the reader to make their own interpretation.
From my point of view, as the poet, I’ve been bothered this last week by a couple of things that I can’t fully express in words.
There is the horrifying story about rape. I don’t watch the news very much but I did read this story – including the bit about onlookers not helping.
A few days ago an older woman knocked at our door, asking is we could phone a tow truck for her, or give her a push – she’d gotten her car stuck in the snow. We tried pushing, but couldn’t get the car out of the icy rut; but she phoned from our kitchen and a tow truck came in a few minutes. So, no big fuss, no big inconvenience – and I was glad we could help – but also (I must confess) glad that I didn’t have to keep a stranger company for more than half an hour. It bothers me to think that part of me didn’t want to be “bothered” for more than a short while.
But yesterday, I walked by a raggedy young man who was sitting outside in the cold, downtown; he was holding a hand written cardboard sign. All I saw was “Need $20 for…”. But I kept walking; I wasn’t in the mood to read the rest. It would have been VERY easy to put even 50 cents, or a dollar in the hat he had sitting on the pavement in front of him – where he was huddled. I think I could have risked giving him even a bit of change – even if I didn’t know what he’d do with it. It’s hard to know why we do things, or don’t – or what the/a best answer is.