Cruelty

Grace
1 min readFeb 28, 2022

(inspired by Lucille Clifton)

Now I watch myself whenever I enter a room,
I never know what I might do.

I can choose to give money to the boys at the traffic lights,
and the little children and elderly, blind women.

Or I can choose to face front, glassy-eyed,
keep my purse filled with money in my bag,

mouthe “I don’t have anything” or “not today”
or feign searching for loose change when I know I have none.

I can choose to turn on my windscreen wipers to rid my car
of soap suds sprayed onto them from plastic bottles,

Or I can choose to wind my windows down, smile sweetly
and say “good morning, how are you” and “what is your name?”,

let them wash my already clean windscreen
and give them a small crumpled note or two.

I can be like this with lovers too,
switch from cookie sweet and warm one moment,

to mountain cold and aloof the next,
cut them off like a stubbed dead fingernail.

I even shock myself at how fast I can change,
lights turning from green to red before I can blink.

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Grace

Traveler, poet, educator, yogi, activist, artist, writer, British-Jamaican Londoner living in Ghana https://soundcloud.com/gracelouisewood