crimes III

this was the worst yet. a
full sprawl in front of
a packed house, and during
a quiet song, just to add
insult to injury – of which
there was plenty. I tried
so hard to catch myself, but
as usual that just
made it worse. I did an
extended pratfall
worthy of a clown
in a circus. except
that it hurt.

and somehow
the worst part was
how various people asked
if I was okay. I’m always
so angry and humiliated
by my shameful,
awkward clumsiness
that any acknowledgement
of a tumble, any attention paid
feels like it might as well be
outright pointing and/or
laughing. that’s why I pretend
to laugh it off and
act like it’s no big deal,
because all I really want to do
is to be allowed to run away
and gather whatever shreds
of dignity remain to me
in private, or at least
where other people are
who didn’t see my downfall.

but belatedly,
thank you, gentle
friends and
random strangers.
I do appreciate
your concern and
common human decency.
next time I’ll probably
not be any more gracious
in accepting your sympathy
than I was in crossing
the damn room.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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