A new poem
I used to trust in the rule of law
Staying on your side of the two lane road
when a car is coming at you assuring
you both the room to pass without a scratch.
The common observances that keep us safe
let us live side by side even if the sides
we take are different, so vastly different
we imagine we would never share a pot of tea
on an afternoon leaning over a table, but I bet we have.
Perhaps this has nothing to do with laws
and only something to do with kindnesses.
Perhaps it is not the rule of law disintegrating
but the notion of kindness, the belief
in its validity, even though each of us, and I will bet
really everyone of us, has been saved by a kindness.
Somewhere in the bone of your left forearm
under the skin of you lower leg,
at the arch of your right eyebrow
you have pinned the memory of a kindness
and it has held that has held you together.
The time someone saw you looking sad
and mentioned the beauty of your eyes
or offered you their place in line
or turned to thank you for holding the door
or held the door for you, when your hands were full.
And isn’t that all of us, stumbling around
with our hands full, holding more than we can
hoping, maybe praying if that’s the way
you talk to hope, that someone will
open the door, let you pass through
unscathed, perhaps smile for a moment
take a chance and meet your gaze.
On waking into a cold clear morning winter turning toward spring, the birdsong is heightened even as frost glistens the bare branches. I live in a peaceful setting, but that belies the discordance of the rule of law disassembling daily. I always wondered how it happened. This morning what can I do but write, for me the first step in meaningful action. I rarely share brand new poems,. but somehow with this just written poem I decided to...