step aside - May 14, 2015s

author’s note:

I considered throwing this poem away.  But then I remembered a quote from John Cleland, author of Fanny Hill:

“Truth!  Stark naked truth!”


That librarian
kneeling on the floor
in the bookshelf aisle
with his back to me
appeared to be
just one more of many
frustrating obstacles
in my way—

another block between
where I am
and where I want to be.

Worse yet,
like so many other
silent combatants I have faced
he seemed to be trying
to assert himself
by ignoring my presence.

So at that moment, I felt justified
in giving him a kick—
nothing horribly abusive—
just a tap on his shoe heel:

yes, I’d reverse the game on him
and thus, score a win.

But as soon as
I touched his foot
I felt my mistake
and rushed to say
“I’m terribly sorry”
over his sincere
“oh excuse me”.

Afterwards, to relieve my guilt
I kicked myself…I kicked myself

until I realized the obvious:

such attacks defeat me
without solving the conflict.

As I relate this foolish story
I’m humbled once again

but not discouraged

since we grow through humility
I must be making much progress
toward my dream of peace.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog