Try A Little Kindness



by Yusef Komunyakaa

For Carol Rigolot

       When deeds splay before us
precious as gold & unused chances
stripped from the whine-bone,
we know the moment kindheartedness
walks in. Each praise be
echoes us back as the years uncount
themselves, eating salt. Though blood
first shaped us on the climbing wheel,
the human mind lit by the savanna’s
ice star & thistle rose,
your knowing gaze enters a room
& opens the day,
saying we were made for fun.
Even the bedazzled brute knows
when sunlight falls through leaves
across honed knives on the table.
If we can see it push shadows
aside, growing closer, are we less
broken? A barometer, temperature
gauge, a ruler in minus fractions
& pedigrees, a thingmajig,
a probe with an all-seeing eye,
what do we need to measure
kindness, every unheld breath,
every unkind leapyear?
Sometimes a sober voice is enough
to calm the waters & drive away
the false witnesses, saying, Look,
here are the broken treaties Beauty
brought to us earthbound sentinels.

4 thoughts on “Try A Little Kindness

  1. I LOVE this photo. I’m such an odd duck. I took one look at it and was deeply moved. I know this may sound weird but I found it a very intimate photo. The posture, little red heart and tiny-ness of the Tin Man (and his face)…and the little green turtle and ONLY the two of them there. As if they are there when the world is not looking and they have this little secret meeting. And all the silver and grey and then this bright green turtle and it looks like the Tin Man has never seen colors before and is stunned at the possibility. Seeing this green turtle is the first color he’s ever seen and he is fascinated by it. I just can’t get over what an absolutely precious picture this is. I am completely moved by it. They are having this tiny little meeting while the world goes by fast paced, busily important and preoccupied. Wow! you are a master at capturing the often unseen moments of Life. Thank you my friend. I am so glad I saw this.

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