Poem: Defuse Me

If I were a bombready to explode, if I have become dangerous to your life, then you must take care of me. You think you can get away from me, but how? I am here, right in your midst. (You cannot remove me from your life.) And I may explode at any time. I need your care. I need your time. I need you to defuse me. You are responsible for me, because you have made the vow (and I heard it) to love and to care.

I know that to take care of me you need much patience, much coolness. I realize that in you there is also a bomb to be defused. So why don't we help each other?

I need you to listen to me. No one has listened to me. No one understands my suffering, including the ones who say they love me. The pain inside of me is suffocating me. It is the TNT that makes up the bomb. There is no one else who will listen to me. That is why I need you. But you seem to be getting away from me. You want to run for your safety, the kind of safety that does not exist.

I have not created my own bomb. It is you. It is society. It is family. It is school. It is tradition. So please don't blame me for it. Come and help, if not, I will explode. This is not a threat. It is only a plea for help. I will also be of help when it is your turn .

Thich Nhat Hanh, Call Me By My True Names (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1999)

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