we owe it to be kind

if you didn’t have direction or rigour,
you would be kind to others or yourself (or both).
you would be kind because or in spite of yourself.
your kindness laid bare could be grace or ego.

do we owe it to be kind?  (to who?  for what?)
we smile at head-hangers, and children,
and systems in lonely orbit, from coffee till nightcap.
what charity is there after commiseration?

but here’s the park and the subway.
there’s the landlord and your neighbour.
maybe we owe it to ourselves
to write lines about being kind.

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