On Compassionate Navigation of Interpersonal Friction


I will treat you as if holding a delicate egg in my two hands—

It's not up to me what will happen to this egg…
if it should hatch into life or be eaten by winged bats,
cracked and dripped, ooze by runny ooze, down the drain,
hard-boiled or left to rot.

But when it's entrusted to my care for a moment,
an afternoon or eternity,
I will gently cushion it,
prevent its dropping or cracking at my careless touch,
shepherding for the cosmos to do with it as needed.

I must never judge myself on what becomes of yolk and white,
by circumstances out of my control…
only on whether I did my best to respect and love its contents
while under my sway.

It's not for me to know if, inside shell, you're fertile or hollow,
better or worse than you "should" be,
or up to my meaningless standards.

I will simply hold you as you are, delicate and perfect.

-Barry Perlman