I was present
At an argument
Between a fundamentalist
And a secularist.
There was name-calling.
The fundamentalist said
The secularist was
A sinner and a God-denier.
The secularist said
The fundamentalist was
A bigot and a simpleton.

I sat facing them
On the train
And realized
My blood was boiling.
I had my own names
For each of them.

Just when I
Could stand it
No more --
When the
Train car crackled
With their anger
And my equanimity had melted --
We bumped over a crossing.
I spilled my coffee.
They both leaned over
To help me.
One offered her handkerchief,
The other his spare napkins.

I thanked them,
And remarked that
The stain on my thigh
Was the shape of Idaho.

We all smiled.

They did not argue after that.

--Mr. Gobley

1 comment:

karen said...

:) see, you are a unifier, well, with the intervention of the Devine. What do you suppose each will remember of that conversation?

Hopefully, the smiles at the end of it.