Volume 21, Number 2

In My Hand

O, don't rush me! Maybe
you did not hurt me, only
someone who looks a lot
like you did. Trust is not
built in a day; sometimes
it can take a lifetime, and
even then not be restored.
Once, when I was rushing
a snake, I struck my devoted
dog with a stick. And, when
it holds its head sidewise
now, I cannot tell what it
is thinking. All I know is
it depends on me for
food, shelter—did I say food?
It approaches with caution,
until it is able to see what
I am holding in my hand.

—Willie James King