Turn From Poem*

Denise Hill

I think I could turn
into the most kind
thoughtful loving
human being
filled with grace
and humility.

But each day
some new stupidity
has me kvetching
at the television
railing against the radio
muttering into my thoughts.

About the idiots
the selfish the negligent
the self-righteous
the willfully ignorant
and all their
kindred relations.

I studied meditation
and learned of meta
how to make phrases
to silence my worst critic
to accept others
just as they are.

Even to embrace
and show them
loving thoughts
like the Dalai Lama
who was exiled from
his own country.

Still he shows
compassion towards those
who demonize him
murder his people.
He only wants peace
and a safe return.

I am not the Dalai Lama.
I never believe I could turn
into anything nearly like him.
So each day I breathe
I seethe I reset I try again.
This is who I am.

*Inspired by Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” Stanza 32 from Leaves of Grass, which begins, “I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d…”


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Bridge the Distance: An Oral History of COVID-19 in Poems Copyright © 2021 by Denise Hill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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