Poemdog

Dogs 2016

CAN I HELP?
(8/25/16)

the question
to myself
throughout
the day

I must
practice

the phrase
would never
be my typical
first response
to someone
in need

firstly
I would walk
around
or away from
them

if confrontation
was unavoidable
I might make
a pointed comment
or two

"all
outta cash"

or

"get out
of my way"

I haven't always
been like this

but after being
burned
almost every time

a helping hand
is no longer
at the end
of either arm

can I help?

can I help?

can I help?

I leave
the "you"
off the end
for fear
that sarcasm
may creep into
my inflection

there's just
something
about "you"
that has forever
invited derision
in my mind

the same mind
that is never
quite sure
about the difference
between sympathy
and empathy

or if either
can be more
than a definition
in my nature

can I help?

can I help?

can I help?

I will continue
to work

my last
spoken attempt
came out as

"what the fuck
are you looking
at?"

there is
obviously
very much room
for improvement

I will have
to get better
to be
merely bad