When it dawns on me that you are other
That you do not see what I see nor hear what I hear
That in fact you see where I opt to be blind
And are comforted by sounds I find discordant
I pause and inwardly flinch
Hoping you do not discern my retreat.
If I could change our national discourse
The only ingredient I would add, perhaps, is respect.
I could then more easily recognize that
In order to move forward
I must allow for some portion, but not all, of your reality
Into my future so that you might relax.
The last thing I want is for you to live each day
Afraid of me, afraid of my worldview,
Afraid that I will force you, drag you kicking and screaming
To live with what you cannot accept
So that you arm yourself the next time you see me coming.