The Art of Living

rose thornsHow do we learn to live together in this world?

Make room for each other,

gently jostle one another,

good-naturedly excusing ourselves.


Why do we bang into each other so roughly?

Slam together with a force

that knocks some off their feet.

Some people barrel into us intentionally,

linebackers on Super Bowl Sunday.

Others accidentally tumble us off balance,

stumble over some unmet need,

overwhelming temptation, hidden desire–

some abject pain or discouragement.

There are those who stop to help us up,

apologize, straighten our coat on our shoulders,

dust us off, linger . . .

Some mumble excuses and run on,

others simply step quickly over

never acknowledge their blunder, never look back.

Yet they leave traces of themselves,

forensic evidence that undeniably proves

they were there, suspects at the scene.

The memories collect, leave scars,

barbs of blunders that snagged us.

We all like jagged roses make for prickly friends.

A few stick around to help bandage wounds

healing, loving, forgiving

salving the world.

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