by Deborah Oster Pannell

she sees that no one has considered her needs
she feels left out, and so she strikes out
on the offensive, nostrils flaring
points her finger and makes her case
she has been wronged,
justified in her anger
she will not back down

the accused one is hurt
strikes back with her own righteous indignation
each one's pain bounces off the other's
blossoming quickly into harsh words
echoing into oblivion
profanity rings out
control has been officially lost
forgiveness spiraling out of reach

afterwards i wondered
what could have been done
an entire series of bad choices
rolled out before me
unraveling the calm and peace of the moment

i did not step in
i did not make a case for either one
i watched, sad, curious
wondering what it takes
to feel another's pain first, before your own