Dear Journal + patrons, thank you so much for your patience for this belated journal entry and typed poem! I wanted to share a different poem with you last week, and tried to find the journal that had it, only to realize that I had lost that journal – which sent me into a furious search for it, only to come up empty-handed. It took me a minute to let that go (for now) and find a new poem to share with you. Here it is.

There are three kinds of people
The ones who look out for you
Who are aware alert
Who initiate offer help love support
Without your having to ask
Who are the ones who ask you
What you need
And what they can do
Who will go all out
Make personal sacrifices for you
While seeing that as a privilege an honor
Not a sacrifice

Then there are those
Who will be there for you
When you ask
If it’s convenient
Stretching maybe a little bit
But not outside their comfort zone
Even if your life is on the line
Especially if you don’t spell out
That it is

And there are those
Who will abjectly fail you
Maybe even point a finger when they do
Accusing and punishing you
For inconveniencing annoying burdening them
Simply for having a need
And expressing it
Implicitly or explicitly
Asking them to step up
To care enough
To do something

There are variables within
The ones who will rise to the occasion
For a family member or close friend
But not a stranger
And the ones who will do anything for anyone
Because they can
Because they care
Because there is no such thing
As a stranger

How the fuck are we supposed to live together
When these disparate values variables
Are all floating around in the mix
To different degrees
Unclear at the outset
Who is what and when
And when we are operating from
Radically different paradigms constructs
Of life itself

I’ve always circled around the axis
Of life as an artist
Willing eager to do the work
Of creation co-creation
Not needing demanding a finished product
Or having all my needs met at the outset
But dreaming building in partnership
Weaving together the beautiful aspects
Leading to a spectacular tapestry

But I understand now
That most people don’t want
To go on this journey with me
Satisfied with half-assed half-mast
Perhaps naming that “acceptance”
And I understand now
That caring willing and consistent
Are most important to me

So I’m paying attention
To a different frequency
And seeing my time of need
As an opportunity
To notice
Who asks those questions
Who is there for me
And to choose more carefully
To give less freely
To those who do not meet me
In the centerpiece of devotion

©2019 by Loolwa Khazzoom. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be copied without author’s permission.