I bet you believe, if you’re too good,
smiling to others or humbly taking
their abuse, or being very helpful always—
one day you’ll buy a rifle,
climb to the top of a steeple,
and shoot everyone in sight below.
I’ve experienced that myself—after a day
of social work, trying to help people
solve their thorny problems,
I would get ornery as hell
with everyone in my own life
who tried to make demands.
While playing the Stage Manager
in Our Town, identifying nightly
with the character’s genial wisdom
and generous perspectives—
I was one mean bastard
as soon as I got offstage.