Stung

Have you noticed
how some people 
watch 
(and wait)
for others 
to make mistakes? 

Hovering
in the shadows,
on high alert,
hoping to catch 

that 

exact 

moment—

delighting
when they find themselves
in the right place
at the right time—

gratified
to be the one
to step in
and point it out— 

like a scorpion,
scurrying out
from behind a rock
to strike and run away. 

Today I saw this happen: 
not the pounce,
but the aftermath—

when an exceedingly kind person

(a lovely person
with the best
of intentions)

fell all over herself,
apologizing
(publicly)
for an oversight
that was NOT a big deal,

but 
which had 
obviously
been pointed out to her

in a way 
that made her 
feel
that it was a 

big 

deal. 



And all I can think about,
sitting here,
late in the day,
is my lovely colleague
at home,
nursing that bite—

instead of warming
in the glow of appreciation 
everyone else
feels for her.



Is it even possible
now
to shift the focus
for her
away from 
that mistake that does not matter
(that should never have been mentioned!)

to the 
magic 
she made
that matters 
so much? 
This month I am sharing a slice of life a day in community with Two Writing Teachers Blog during the March Slice of Life Story Challenge.

7 Comments

  1. jet197

    So very beautifully written. It is a delicate yet devastating reminder of the power we have to affect others’ lives with our words and actions. I love how the picture goes with your poem as well. Thanks for choosing to write it as a poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. franmcveigh

    Amy,
    This is a great question for life:
    “Is it even possible
    now
    to shift the focus
    for her
    away from
    that mistake that does not matter
    (that should never have been mentioned!)

    to the
    magic
    she made
    that matters
    so much? ”

    Why, oh why, and I totally ask for me because this can often be me,
    do we feel like we need to point out errors? It really is NOT constructive criticism.
    It’s criticism – “the scorpion’s sting”

    Carrying this question . . . thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dmsherriff

    Wow — that’s my first thought. Wow at the well crafted poem that had me feeling like I needed to send a hug. Wow at the way those bites can cause lasting hurt. The line “nursing that bit instead of warming in the glow of appreciation” – powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Writing to Learn, Learning to Write

    This is so well written and so powerful. What made you decide to create a poem out of this topic? It was such a great way to share the experience. You are so compassionate. I feel so sad for the person who was hurt (and the person relishing in the hurt – that’s just a sad way to exist).

    Like

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