Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If They

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If They

If they aren't going to be near your death-bed,
If they never thought well of you,
If they never thought of you,
If they belittled everything you did even
If they thought of you,

If they never helped you dig
in the ground when you were
digging in the ground,
If they never helped you get
better when you were ill,
If they never gave you a break,
If they never helped to fix
your leaking roof,
If they never paid for a drink,
If they never had a kind word
for you or anybody else,
If they sucked up to power
and back-stabbed their associates,
If they never thought things through,
If they thought empathy was for suckers,
If they never listened,
If they never knew one goddamned
thing about you & never cared to,
Et Cetera, then

Why do you care what they think
about you, about people you care for,
and about matters dear to you?
If they are whom they have shown
themselves to be, then let them
drift on their own sea and disappear,
and disappear.


Copyright 2011 Hans Ostrom
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