POEM: Divining Meaning

Imagine standing on the train platform,

listening to the distant approaching train,

and you hear a voice say —

unprovoked —

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to shove you.”

I predict you would take two steps back before you try to divine meaning.

And when that speaker objects, saying,

“Brother, you misheard me. I said I’m NOT going to shove you in front of the train.”

He’ll not have improved his credibility through clarity of negation,

especially if he gently lays a fraternal hand upon your shoulder.

It’s like being told to not think of a white bear.

An inseparable seed of murder is sewn into those words.

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