Agree to Disagree

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I don’t always have to agree with what you say

for us to be friends. Trust me, it’s okay

to have different opinions, tastes and thoughts.

(Eat your hot dogs; I’m from Wisconsin. We eat brats).

 

Pro-life, pro choice, gun control, school prayer,

Liberal or conservative–does it matter? Who cares?

That’s you and this is me. 

Why do we have to agree?

 

What’s offensive, disrespectful and really uncool

is to ridicule my ideas and make me feel like a fool.

We are different people, you and me, 

so sometimes we have to agree to disagree.

 

Do you listen? Do you think of others? Are you kind?

Do you get the facts before making up your mind?

Do you think before speaking? Do you help those in need?

Can you laugh for hours at nothing? Do you try to do good deeds?

 

 

That’s what’s important, the only thing that matters in the end.

Not your politics or taste in food, but whether you’re a friend.

 

 (C) Sara Ackerman 2016

 

A Nighttime Poem

To my daughter who is still sometimes, but not always, afraid of the dark.

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“I’m afraid of the dark,” she says, clutching her sheets to her nose.

“There’s a monster in the corner. I can see its hairy toes!”

“What, this?” I say, bending behind the rocking chair,

To grab a pile of fluff. “It’s your favorite teddy bear

Drowning under a pile of your dirty clothes.”

 

“But what about that shadow?” she points to the wall beyond.

“It has to be a ghost because it’s making a scary sound!”

I pat her on the head and pull back the curtains to let in the feeble light. 

“See? The branches are scraping on your windows. Its shape gave you a fright.

And that sound? Just the wind whistling through the reeds on our small duck pond.”

 

She’s getting sleepy now, and her eyes begin to close, but she has one last fear

to put to rest before I leave the room. “Don’t leave me, mama. Please, stay with me here.

The darkness is so scary. I don’t want to be alone.” I stroke her hair and kiss her cheeks,

and sing a quiet song. “Nothing here can hurt you. No ghost or monster or nighttime squeaks.

Just hold me in your heart, my child, and I’ll be ever near.”

 

©Sara Ackerman, 2016