All my life, I’ve been told, “Go the extra mile”
And “Love your neighbour as much as yourself”
So it comes as a shock to realise
That it’s me, not my books, on the shelf.
If we’re supposed to look after each other
Then who’s looking after me?
I can’t escape this miserable feeling
That this is not how it’s meant to be.
Yet the same Scriptures also observe
That those who expose awkward truths –
Such as prophets – are rarely welcomed
By the hometown and friends of their youth.
It’s much the same for outspoken poets
Who might have hoped for loyal support,
Yet encounter distinct disinterest
Of the silent, uncomfortable sort.
One day this will no longer matter:
How I wish that it could be today!
When I’ve achieved the things I’m working for
And my troubles will have all blown away.
Even then, I suspect, they’ll smile and nod
And avoid looking me in the eye:
Everyone is welcome here; however,
Prophets and poets need not apply.