By Barbara Eknoian
Long Beach, CA
Just suppose you are the cashier
who assumes this poorly dressed person
is homeless, so you chase him
from your restaurant
and refuse to let him use the restroom.
His feelings are hurt and he sits
beside the building sobbing.
Maybe, the next day you are the one
who thinks he is staring at your girlfriend.
You punch him in the nose
and make him bleed.
He’s so shocked he calls the police,
but they judge him by his clothing,
ignore his complaint against the hitter,
and drive him to his sister’s house
He cries, “I don’t get any respect.”
On Sunday, you might be the drummer
playing on the boardwalk at Venice Beach.
When he walks by, and asks if he can have
a turn at your drums, you let him.
Afterwards his heavy frame feels lighter.
His mood has turned to sunshine.
He says, “This was one of my best days.”
Now the cashier, the jealous boyfriend,
and the drummer are not aware
he was so depressed
that he died on Monday.
Be careful about what you put out
into the universe.