I cannot write another’s story.
I cannot comprehend another’s life.
Even in the closest embrace
the space between my mind and any other
is a landscape of traps and mirrors.
Only the deeds of another may I fairly assess.
Only the results may I accurately measure.
And yet lurks the impulse to impose —
presuming every motive, every desire, every constraint;
drawing blueprints, taking the wheel,
ignoring the possibility that what is needed
a receptive ear,
a sign of acknowledgement
a small splash of color on a gloomy day.
Michael Brandt, Arena