March 16, 2011

Anna Evans

FEELING COMPASSION FOR OTHERS

          after Molly Peacock

Feeling compassion for others is the right
way to feel. It’s one way we can prove
to friends we’ve finally grown up, when it might
be tempting–human, even–to lord it above
someone instead. At twenty when I stole
a boy my best friend had adored for months
I was quite insufferable. I told
her she needed a hobby. That’s how to punch
a girl when she’s down. I think I would do better
now, but really, would I? When you’ve won
something intangible, you never get a
ribbon, only the pleasure of seeing the wan
face, and hearing the loser mourn the loss.
I suppose I’m trying to say that I don’t blame you:
to hear the mitigating facts could cost
just what it costs to write this and not name you.

from Rattle #28, Winter 2007

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