{#npm’17: circumference}

(x – h)2 + (y – k)2 = r2

we are all self-centered
it is said
we are all self-centered
but what matters is
how wide your circle


hearing a tale of injustice leads some to make an empathic mistake
instead of an ear, the listener becomes
a speaker whose tale overtakes
the voice of the hurting. shifting the spotlight.
demanding, asserting that they have the right
to stand in the center and speak on their feelings –
but that isn’t empathy, friends, that’s stage-stealing.


we are all self-centered
it is said
we are all self-centered
but what matters is
circumference

3 Replies to “{#npm’17: circumference}”

  1. Yes. My fifth graders have such a hard time differentiating between having a connection to something that happens to a character in a book (or a real person) and feeling empathy. Yes, yes, yes.

  2. Stage-stealing indeed. I see this happening a lot on campus. We don’t seem to be able to allow those who need to have a voice the space and quiet to tell their own stories.

    Thank you for this lovely, challenging poem.

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