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I'm always biting my tongue on the question of
too much or too little, as at the laundromat
watching the old man crumple to the floor.

Too much wine, I judged. Or too little food.
But turned back to the task of matching socks,
remembering the dog I'd seen that morning.
She'd been hit once, thrown between two lanes.
When I confess I feel more for the dog than
the man, my arms fly up. Everyone I tell says,
it's OK, but I don't believe them. I watched
four cops converge on him and continued folding
sheets as if the symmetry of linen were justice.

I stumbled, carrying laundry back to my car.
Torn by what I do and what I know.
Powerless to accuse or defend.

This poem appeared in the Poetry Flash.

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