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.


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