and i am reminded
again and again
that we have no idea
what most people
are facing
day to day

yesterday was a day
full of secrets
it felt like everyone
i connected with
had something
they needed to say
something hidden
tucked away
in the darkest parts
shrouded in shadow
almost forgotten
for attention now

i wonder
i thought
as i got off
another teary call
how we do it at all

i imagine my friend
going about her day to day
grocery shopping
picking up medicines
answering insincere pleasantries
waiting in line at the post office

i imagine her
barely standing
holding it together
by a thread
doing what she knows to do
to get through
what she has to do

and i imagine
someone snapping at her
rolling their eyes
or being just plain mean

and i wonder
if anyone would notice
that she was breaking
on the inside

and i wondered
how many times
i have mistaken
someone’s suffering
for an aloof attitude
or for being unfeeling

we do not know
the secret sorrows
of those around us
we do not know
why someone
is in a mood

so perhaps
we could all
a lot more
and curiosity here

maybe that moody girl
just got bullied
in the high school locker room

maybe that mean man
just lost his wife and has 4 children
to take care of alone

maybe that nasty lady
just found out her best friend
is having an affair with her husband

maybe that rude guy
just got a cancer diagnosis
and doesn’t know what to do

maybe you just have no clue

in fact we likely have no clue
and so i am reminded
again and again
to practice patience
to not make up story
to exercise compassion
to be the person i would need

and to remember
and our shared

yes that
that is what matters
most to me

love first
first love

 ❤️ emily joy rosen

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