In a Moment

Slice of Life, 2013

Slice of Life, 2013

Slice 9 of 31

Build your own sestina:

In a Moment

Taking me aside
You tell me your concern.
I see this as judgment.
You take a moment
Only to talk, not to listen.
This is not your place.

Get me out of this place.
Are you always on the opposing side?
You can't understand what you see in a moment.
Instead, ask a question and show your concern.
Listen to me--give me some time
before questioning my judgment.

Questioning my judgment
Is not your place.
Instead of taking a moment,
Give me a moment, take me aside
And show your concern
By doing what's right--just listen.

It's really difficult to listen
when you pass judgment.
Show your concern
By knowing your place
Put our differences aside
being present to each moment.

Give me a moment.
Please try to listen.
Perhaps I will take you aside,
and tell you how I felt judgment
Without concern of who I am in this place.
Perhaps it's time to share my concern.

I see you have concern
Of what you see in a moment.
You don't try to enter my space or my place.
Take a different perspective--listen
without questioning my judgment,
And together we could put our differences aside.

My main concern is that you don't listen
And in a moment you pass judgment.
This should be a place where differences are put aside.

19 thoughts on “In a Moment

  1. I hear you. I love your honesty and sorry for your struggle. I think we have all been there. I think it is particularly difficult when you know they will continue not to listen. Use your writing to work through the frustration unfortnately I do not think you will change this person’s judging and not listening.


  2. This is so well written! I felt as though you were standing in front of me, pleading, frustrated, hurt, and just wanting me to understand. I hope that it provided you with some relief, and can give you some breathe space as you decide next steps!


  3. Thanks, Yvonne. Today gave me some perspective after the funeral as I sat at a table with former students, and we were able to let go of sadness and remember the good times we had. Yes, they hugged me, and I hugged back. This just reaffirmed that contact is inevitable in our line of work if I am to truly be present and loving to thee children, and perhaps I shouldn’t take judgment so personally.


  4. Remember, when someone judges, it isn’t really about you. Think about their motivation and what it is they need… this is what they are showing in their actions. Sometimes the biggest critics just need validation. If they talk “at ” you, maybe they are desperate to be heard or to feel significant … no matter the reason, the burning question is, “Why?” And the next question is, “What is the best response– the response that might result in a positive outcome for all concerned?” The answers will help lead to understanding and, if you are lucky, to building trust. Just some thoughts… good luck!


  5. Paul

    On the technical-writing side — a sestina. Wow. I’m reserving the sestina for spring break, when I’ll have the time to work on something for several hours. Yours creates a wonderful spiral effect of revisiting the same issue in each stanza and adding a new wrinkle or perspective. Swirling, but moving forward. And the true test of such a poem is that the form doesn’t get in the way and make things artificial. You’ve managed to take such a complex form and write it in such a personal, fluid voice that the form isn’t a distraction — rather, it serves the purpose of adding layers and angles to your subject. Bravo!!

    On the personal side, of course I hope this is resolved in a way that leads to your peace of mind and to greater mutual understanding. All the best–


  6. Swirling is where my mind was–the sestina helped me process. A fairly quick exercise in taking some things that were bothering me and working through them as the stanzas progressed. I changed my key words a few times, but you are right, a swirling progression of my thoughts.


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