About This Stuff Called Writing - Poem by RIC S. BASTASA

Upon reading the poem

about a childless woman
My friend Sol wrote

I am truly sorry for reading
About such a delicate issue

And she emails

“Did you write it because I have offended you and the childless woman? ”

“I am truly sorry”

I e-mail her back; there was no offense,

as it was not really about us
The little boy who died a long time ago was not

About us,

I was surprised
That poem
Was not meant to be

a certain Apathy

it is not about us
it is not us

it is about them

Such is a poem
is meant for a

certain kind of empathy
it is no apathetic
it is not about a sickness into death
it is not about
a 'mind-you-own-business'
but it was meant to be

'we-feel-what- you -all -feel'

It is empathy
it is reincarnation to the bodies
Of other people
it is going
into life
into the lives of other people
into life
into salvation

a life in those moving fingers of a new born baby
the same moving fingers that give you the hint of of life to
a hit-and-run victim
a while ago comatose

a life a breath a hush
for persons
not just people

(specially for those whom we love much
that if they die
we want to die
with them
and we
keep saying without them
life has no meaning at all)

And we
Become them
the childless couple that was not us
the hit-and-run-victim that layed long unnamed in the morgue
that baby that was blue all over because of a congenital heart defect

they were buried
and we say we were buried with them

we have duties and obligations though
as we watch and stand for those who remain here

that is empathy

Every part of them: the nose, the eyes, the brain, the trachea,
The butt, the hands, every nerve every vein every corpuscle

we become them
we join in their mission

We become the air that they breathe
We breathe
We penetrate the other completely

Every part of them: the nose, the eyes, the brain, the trachea,
The butt, the hands, every nerve every vein every corpuscle

The apology then was wrongly worded
And was wrongly sent
The dog has waggled its tail
To the wrong master
the dog has barked to the wrong tree

Hence I reject the apology

because the tragedy and the sorrow are not about us
it is them
we only become them because

we empathize
we allow ourselves to be a part of them in the process

Or whatever excuse
It was not for us
It was for them

We are merely the wires
Through which
The unseen electrons pass
an in the process we generate light and power
For others
For this dark world

The danger lurks when for lack
Of understanding about the mechanics

Of apathy and its
distinction with empathy

between us making a living
and between them that we try to appease

You touch us in careless passion
And for lack of understanding about compassion
You are shaken

And who knows
In due time
You too shall become

in utter exercise of empathy

And that would be enough

i know there is something that you did not understand
life shall tell in the process
and life shall tell you all about it before everything is ended.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 19, 2008

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