Monday, August 05, 2019

Danusha Laméris: Small Kindnesses

Danusha Laméris: Small Kindnesses

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk 
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs 
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you” 
when someone sneezes, a leftover 
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying. 
And sometimes, when you spill lemons 
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you 
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot, 
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile 
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress 
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder, 
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far 
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange. 
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these 
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.”
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